Fresenius Medical Care Injury
Has your loved one been injured through receiving hemodialysis treatment at a Fresenius Medical Care Center?
If this is true, you may need to talk to a personal injury attorney, who may be able to help your loved one be compensated for their injury.
Fresenius is a German company. In the United States, Fresenius has offices in the name of Fresenius Medical Care North America in Waltham, Massachusetts. Fresenius Medical Care is the largest operator of hemodialysis centers in the United States. Almost 400,000 Americans have to have hemodialysis treatment each year. Fresenius Medical Care processes over one third of these treatments.
An investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) revealed that doctors at Fresenius Medical Care were giving dialysis patients a level of NaturaLyte and GranuFlo that was too high for healthy human consumption. NaturaLyte is a liquid that contains acetic acid. GranuFlo is a "dry acid" powder that contains sodium diacetate. Both of these products that Fresenius uses in the dialysis process are designed to help maintain the proper balance of acidity to alkalinity in the blood of a person receiving dialysis.
On March 29, 2012, the FDA initiated a Class 1 recall of NaturaLyte and GranuFlo acid concentrate. The reason for the recall was that the manufacturer was cautioning clinicians to take note of the concentration of acetate or sodium diacetate that was contained in Fresenius' NaturaLyte Liquid and GranuFlo Dry Acid Concentrate. Prescription of these products that was not appropriate could result in a high serum bicarbonate level in people who were having hemodialysis.
A high serum bicarbonate level may contribute to metabolic alkalosis. Metabolic alkalosis is a significant risk factor that is associated with:
- Low blood pressure
- Cardiac arrhythmia, which can result in cardiopulmonary arrest
Fresenius Medical Care has had multi-district litigation (MDL) lawsuits filed against it. This type of lawsuit is different from a class action lawsuit in that each lawsuit stays as an individual claim. These lawsuits allege wrongful death and personal injury have resulted from hemodialysis treatment at various Fresenius Medical Care Centers across the United States.
It is believed that thousands of people may have had a heart attack, cardiac arrest or sudden death that was due to inappropriate prescription of NaturaLyte and GranuFlo products while receiving hemodialysis from Fresenius Medical Care. Other side effects of NaturaLyte and GranuFlo include:
- Massive blood loss from hemorrhage
- Low blood pressure (hypotension)
- Metabolic alkalosis
- Cardiopulmonary arrest
- Myocardial infarction
Fresenius Medical Care believes that the company's actions in regard to NaturaLyte and GranuFlo were responsible and appropriate. A statement from the company says, "The company believes that these lawsuits are without merit, and intends to defend them vigorously."
If you believe your loved one suffered a wrongful death or personal injury as a result of receiving an inappropriate prescription of NaturaLyte and GranuFlo at a Fresenius Medical Care Center while receiving hemodialysis treatment, it would be a good idea to talk to a personal injury attorney and let him or her evaluate your case.