What is Heparin?

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Modified on 2009/10/14 21:53 by admin
heparin induced thrombocytopenia hit syndrome lawyer lawsuit attorney

heparin induced thrombocytopenia hit syndrome lawyer lawsuit attorney


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Heparin sodium is an injectable anticoagulant used to prevent blood from clotting in people who are undergoing certain medical procedures. Heparin is derived from cells in raw pig intestine, and is manufactured by Baxter Healthcare and APP Pharmaceuticals in the United States. Heparin is also used to prevent blood clots from forming in catheters that are left in veins over time. The pharmaceutical ingredient works by decreasing the clotting ability of the blood, and is a vital element for patients undergoing kidney dialysis.

Heparin Advisory Information

It is important to tell your doctor if you have high blood pressure in order to avoid any potential complications involving the use of heparin. Heparin can cause you to be sensitive to bruising or to have unusual bleeding spells, such as long nosebleeds. Advise your doctor if such symptoms persist with the use of heparin, as these could be indicative of more severe bleeding problems. Heparin is especially not intended for intramuscular use.

Heparin solution comes in different strength injections: negligent administration of the wrong strength of a heparin injection can cause a severe side effect of heparin use, heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT syndrome). The negative results often seen in heparin-induced thrombocytopenia are deep-vein thrombosis and other deleterious arterial clotting due to the transient lack of platelets.

Heparin History

April 2008

Scientists definitively established that the contaminant chondroitin sulfate was added to crude heparin during processing in China.  As a result, at least 81 patient deaths were attributed to the adulterated heparin in the United States, and many more fatalities were reported in Europe. 

February 2008

In February 2008, Baxter Healthcare expanded the company's recall of heparin to include its entire line of heparin products. A diligent FDA investigation into the provenance of the company's heparin revealed that a substitute chemical ingredient had been added to the crude supply from which Baxter was refining its product.

This investigation led back to smaller distributors of heparin in China, where the crude heparin was produced and exported. This adulteration of crude heparin in China to increase profit resulted in hundreds of allergic reactions in the United States and four deaths.

January 2008

In the first month of 2008 there were over 350 adverse events reported involving heparin and patients who reported nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood pressure. Baxter Healthcare recalled 10% of the company's annual production of heparin at the end of January. The multi-dose vials of heparin recalled by the company were for use by dialysis patients.

December 2007

In December 2007, Baxter Healthcare introduced new safety measures to guard against future errors in heparin sodium administration. The enhanced drug labeling initiative was spurred by several high-profile injuries to patients who were administered excessive dosages of heparin.

Drug Injury

Please consult with your physician about any questions you may have concerning heparin. If you are experiencing any of the side effects or symptoms associated with contaminated heparin, it may be important for you to discuss treatment alternatives to your current medication.

If you have legal questions or believe that you have been injured as a result of heparin, you should contact an attorney who has experience in this area of practice.

IMPORTANT - You should never stop taking any medication without first consulting with your prescribing physician.

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