Fresenius Medical Care is one of the largest providers of dialysis treatments in the world. Not only does the company own thousands of its own dialysis clinics, but is also manufactures many of the products – like GranuFlo and NaturaLyte – that are used at other clinics nationwide. Over the past ten years, many patients undergoing hemodialysis treatment for kidney failure have received NaturaLye – a liquid acid concentrate – or GranuFlo – a dry acid concentrate – which allow for a greater conversion of bicarbonates to neutralize the buildup of acid during dialysis. Unfortunately, both GranuFlo and NaturaLyte were recalled last year amid warnings that dialysis patients were suffering sudden cardiac arrest or death during treatment with these products.
According to allegations raised in Fresenius complaints brought throughout the United States, both GranuFlo and NaturaLyte contain sodium acetate, which converts to bicarbonate at higher-than-expected levels for most doctors, and can cause serious problems for some patients. In November 2011, Fresenius issued an internal memo warning doctors at its own clinics about this risk, indicating that as many as 941 patients who received GranuFlo or NaturaLyte during dialysis suffered sudden cardiac arrest during or shortly after treatment in 2010 alone. The company, however, inexplicably failed to warn non-Fresenius clinics about this life-threatening risk, and the public was unaware of the potential danger until the memo was leaked to the FDA in March 2012, and the agency issued a NaturaLyte and GranuFlo recall.
At the time the GranuFlo and NaturaLyte litigation was consolidated, there were 119 individual complaints filed in 16 different U.S. District Courts throughout the country. However, product liability attorneys nationwide continue to review GranuFlo claims and expect that the number of lawsuits will increase dramatically over the coming months. If you received NaturaLyte or GranuFlo treatment during dialysis and you have since suffered a heart attack or another major heart problem, our consumer advocates at the Consumer Justice Foundation can help you get in touch with a knowledgeable lawyer with experience handling product liability cases in your area. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your injuries and medical bills, which you can pursue by filing a product liability lawsuit against Fresenius Medical Care.