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Risk of heart attacks was allegedly hidden by medical care company

October 24, 2013

Fresenius Medical Care, who company which makes GranuFlo for use with dialysis patients, has been named in a wrongful death lawsuit.

A Princeton, Indiana woman reportedly went for her regular dialysis appointment in 2011. She was given a dialysate made by Fresenius Medical Care, Granuflo, used to screen blood during hemodialysis.

Two days later, the woman was found dead in her home. She had apparently suffered a heart attack. Her family filed a wrongful death, defective product lawsuit, suggesting the medical manufacturer deliberately hid the potentially fatal side-effects of the product. It further stated that the deceased and her health care providers were not advised of how dangerous the product could be. The lawsuit is asking $2 million in damages.

Further information presented in court documents indicated Granuflo did not have a proper balance of bicarbonate and sodium acetate, which could lead to a heart attack and metabolic alkalosis. The sodium acetate is used to balance bicarbonate levels in the blood during use with a three-stream dialysis machine.

Evidently, the company was aware of the risk of their product as early as 2004, but did not issue any warnings. Since that time, over 260,000 patients have used Granuflo. It is believed thousands have had serious issues with the sodium bicarbonate and at least 941 people died as a result of using the product.

The company did send a memo to their own clinics in 2011, advising that the product could increase the risk of a heart attack by up to 8 times. The memo was not sent to anyone else, until someone anonymously sent a copy to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012. It is expected there will be more lawsuits filed against the company.

The deceased’s family faces a long journey to justice. In the meantime, they may struggle to pay their regular bills, in addition to funeral and burial expenses. In order to get ahead on their payments and other important expenses, they might wish to consider applying for a lawsuit loan. Litigation funding is an emergency cash loan that plaintiffs may use to pay their bills.

Pre-settlement funding also allows a plaintiff to turn down any short cash offers an insurance company may attempt to make, hoping they would settle for less than what they would be entitled to in court. Make sure you have hired a lawyer first, then contact a reputable litigation company for assistance. It may be the best call you ever make.

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