Dialysis is a process in which toxic wastes are removed from the body when the kidneys aren’t functioning properly. Bicarbonates are commonly administered to patients with renal failure because they neutralize the build-up of acid that occurs in the blood during the dialysis process, and GranuFlo has been touted as a drug that allows for greater conversion of bicarbonates. Unfortunately, recent information has suggested that GranuFlo can lead to elevated bicarbonate levels in dialysis patients, which may lead to a condition known as hemodialysis metabolic alkalosis. Hemodialysis metabolic alkalosis is a risk factor for heart attack, cardiac arrest and other serious heart side effects.
A heart attack occurs when the flow of blood to a part of the heart is blocked for a long enough period of time that the heart muscle becomes damaged and begins to die. Common symptoms of heart attack include a feeling of something heavy sitting on your chest or a squeezing or heavy pressure in the chest. Other heart attack symptoms include cough, fainting, anxiety, nausea or vomiting, shortness of breath and sweating.
Most victims of heart attacks are first treated in the emergency room, in which oxygen is administered and an intravenous line is placed into one of your veins to deliver medication and fluids. In some cases, a heart attack victim may require an angioplasty, a procedure used to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. Some patients may undergo heart bypass surgery, also known as open heart surgery, to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels. Unfortunately, after experiencing a heart attack, the chances of suffering another heart attack are higher. Common complications of heart attack include heart failure and abnormal heart rhythms, which can be life-threatening.
FMC operates about one-third of dialysis centers in the U.S. and is also the leading supplier of dialysis machines and other dialysis products to clinics across the country and in Europe. GranuFlo is reportedly used in numerous FMC clinics, as well as in approximately 125,000 patients treated in clinics operated by other dialysis providers. When FMC discovered that its kidney failure drug had the potential to increase a patient’s risk of cardiac arrest and other heart complications, including heart attack, the company issued an internal memo alerting FMC-operated dialysis clinics alone. It wasn’t until the FDA received a copy of the memo from an anonymous source in March 2012 that the agency launched an investigation into the company’s failure to warn. If you took GranuFlo to treat renal failure and have since suffered from a heart attack, consult a qualified GranuFlo lawyer to explore your compensation options. With the help of a skilled GranuFlo attorney, you can protect your legal rights and seek fair and timely reimbursement for your injuries.