GranuFlo & Stroke - Consumer Justice Foundation

GranuFlo & Stroke

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Stroke Symptoms and Causes

Bicarbonates are commonly administered to patients during dialysis in order to neutralize the acid build-up that occurs during the process of removing toxic waste from the body. GranuFlo has been promoted by FMC as a superior dialysis medication that allows for greater conversion of bicarbonates compared to similar products. Unfortunately, recent information indicates that elevated bicarbonate levels in kidney failure patients can lead to a condition known as hemodialysis metabolic alkalosis, which is a major risk factor for life-threatening side effects like stroke, cardiac arrest, heart attack and other serious heart side effects.

A stroke occurs when blood flow to a part of the brain is interrupted, preventing the brain from getting the oxygen and blood it needs to function properly. If blood flow is stopped for a long enough period of time, brain cells will begin to die, causing permanent brain damage. The symptoms associated with stroke depend on what part of the brain suffers damage, although the symptoms typically develop suddenly and without warning. In some cases, the person may suffer from a headache, especially if the stroke is caused by bleeding in the brain. Other possible stroke symptoms include:

  • Changes in alertness
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Changes in hearing, taste or sensation
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Muscle weakness in the face, arm or leg

Treatment for Stroke

Stroke is a medical emergency, and immediate treatment can save lives and minimize disability. The appropriate stroke treatment depends largely on the cause of the event and may include medications, a procedure called angiography, or even surgery to fix damaged blood vessels, remove blood from around the brain, or to repair the carotid artery. The main goal of treatment after stroke is to help the patient recover as much function as possible and to prevent future strokes. The amount of time needed for recovery and the extent of long-term treatment varies from patient to patient, and the outlook depends on the type of stroke, how much brain tissue was damaged, what body functions have been affected and how quickly treatment is received. Common stroke complications include loss of mobility, dementia, falls, problems speaking and understanding, problems thinking or focusing, and loss of feeling or movement in parts of the body.

How a GranuFlo Attorney Can Help

It is the duty of drug manufacturers to alert consumers and healthcare professionals about the risks of their medications as soon as they become aware of the problem. Unfortunately, by failing to warn patients at clinics operated by other dialysis providers, FMC may have put more than 100,000 GranuFlo patients at unnecessary risk of stroke and other serious side effects, without their knowledge. If you or a loved one has suffered a stroke and you believe GranuFlo to be the cause, contact an experienced GranuFlo lawyer to discuss your legal options. The medical bills associated with current and future care for stroke victims can be extensive and costly. With the help of a qualified GranuFlo attorney, victims of stroke potentially linked to GranuFlo can pursue financial compensation for their injuries, medical expenses, pain and suffering, loss of quality of life and other damages linked to the devastating condition.

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