Almost half a million American citizens require dialysis, a service that cleans their blood of toxins when their kidneys are no longer up to the task. There are dialysis centers all over the country, and dialysis patients generally receive this service on a regular schedule that is dependent upon the type of dialysis that they receive and the extent of their renal damage.
When patients go into their dialysis center, they do so with full faith in the staff of the centers where they are patients and the physicians who supervise the dosage of their medication and the operation of the equipment. However, it has recently come to light that the Fresenius Medical Care Company, which runs one-third of the dialysis centers in the United States, created a product that put patients at unnecessary risk. Additionally, the company showed extreme disregard for the well-being of dialysis patients who were treated at other dialysis centers.
GranuFlo’s Use in Dialysis
Part of the process of administering dialysis includes providing the patients with bicarbonate, a medication that reduces acid in the blood. In addition to bicarbonate, a product called GranuFlo which is manufactured and sold by Fresenius Medical Care, is often used. GranuFlo accomplishes a variety of things in the blood of dialysis patients, and one of its components is converted by the body into bicarbonate.
Because GranuFlo contains more of this ingredient than other similar products on the market, it has been determined that the use of GranuFlo could create too much bicarbonate in the body and lead to sudden heart attacks, as well as other fatal or serious conditions. Not only is this a concern because of the product itself, but it has also been determined that when Fresenius became aware of the problem, they only notified the dialysis clinics that they owned and did not inform other dialysis centers that purchased the product from them, thus leaving those other clinics’ patients vulnerable to great danger.
There have been hundreds of patients who have died as a result of this problem, and even though Fresenius serves only one-third of the nation’s dialysis patients, they never notified the other clinics until their lack of action was called to the attention of the Food and Drug Administration. If you are a dialysis patient who has suffered a heart attack or other medical problem as a result of the use of GranuFlo, or if someone you love died as a result of having been treated with GranuFlo during their dialysis, the GranuFlo lawyers at Danziger & De Llano can help. We have the experience and knowledge to help you pursue justice against the negligence and lack of compassion exhibited by Fresenius.
Risks of GranuFlo Use
Internal documents have shown that doctors working for Fresenius Medical Care realized that GranuFlo was causing sudden death in its patients, and immediately sent out a memo warning their staff to be certain that the product was being used carefully and appropriately. But the same memo was not shared with other centers that purchased the product from the company, and as a result, patients have been put at risk for stroke, low blood pressure, heart attack, and even sudden death.
Patients who have been victimized by the inappropriate use of the product, as well as by Fresenius’ failure to warn other centers about the risks involved, have been faced with a furthering of their health problems, increased medical bills, pain and suffering, and increased expenses for their care.
When a company acts negligently both in the production and use of a product but also in the way that Fresenius has in terms of not notifying others, they are responsible for any expenses that have been incurred by the victims of their negligence, as well as for their pain and suffering.