Patients who are on dialysis have an elevated risk of heart problems and blood clots as compared to the general population. However, the FDA recently warned that certain dialysis patients—those treated with the dialysis drugs GranuFlo and Naturalyte—are at an even higher risk of suffering a heart attack. These drugs increase the risk of a heart attack by 400 to 600 percent.
GranuFlo and Naturalyte are chemicals that are used to balance the acidity and alkalinity of blood during dialysis. They are different from most dialysis products because they contain a chemical that converts to bicarbonate inside the blood. If the dosage is not carefully monitored, the patient can develop too much bicarbonate in the blood, a dangerous condition known as metabolic alkalosis.
Metabolic alkalosis is associated with irregular heart rhythms, low blood pressure, cardiac arrest, heart attack, and death. The effects of GranuFlo metabolic alkalosis can last for up to two years.
According to Fresenius, the maker of GranuFlo and Naturalyte, 941 patients died after heart attacks in Fresenius clinics in 2010. All these patients had high bicarbonate levels in their blood. However, the drugs were not recalled until June 2012. The recall involved only a labeling change. These drugs are still being used at many dialysis centers across Wisconsin.
If your mother suffered a heart attack while undergoing dialysis, contact a Wisconsin dialysis injury lawyer immediately. The attorney will research your mother’s case and determine if she has a GranuFlo injury claim.
For more information contact the Milwaukee drug injury attorneys at Hupy and Abraham at 800-800-5678. Help us hold Fresenius accountable.