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AP: 'software glitches' led to prolonged infusions of heparin

Medical mishaps including prolonged infusions of drugs such as the blood thinner heparin were given to patients at Veterans Affairs medical centers throughout the U.S., potentially putting their lives in danger, according to the Associated Press. The errors, which occurred between August 2008 and December 2008, were blamed on “software glitches” that interfered with patients’ electronic health records. Nearly one-third of the country’s 153 VA hospitals reported seeing problems with the electronic medical records. Moving from a paper system to an electronic medical records system was designed to reduce human error; however, health care experts say the errors prove that ... Read More

Quaid-Cedars-Siani lawsuit over heparin overdose finally closed

Actor Dennis Quaid and his wife Kimberly now have closure in their year-long heparin overdose lawsuit against Cedars-Siani Medical Center, according to OK! and Entertainment Tonight. The entertainment media reported that a Los Angeles judge has signed off on the $750,000 settlement the couple reached with Cedars-Siani last month. According to the settlement, the hospital did not admit wrongdoing in the potentially fatal overdose of heparin that was accidentally administered to the couple’s newborn children Zoe Grace and Thomas Boone Quaid. The settle also allows for the couple to pursue claims for their children in the future. The California Department ... Read More

Heparin a treatment option for Interstitial Cystitis

The blood thinner heparin may be an effective treatment for Interstitial Cystitis (IC) according to the Interstitial Cystitis Association. IC is defined as pelvic pain, pressure or discomfort related to the bladder. It is typically associated with urinary frequency and urgency without infection or other pathology. It also is referred to as chronic pain syndrome (CPPS), painful bladder syndrome (PBS), and bladder pain syndrome (BPS). Most often occurring in women, IC is often mistaken for chronic prostatitis or chronic pelvic pain syndrome. The cause is largely unknown, however some factors may be connected to the disease, such as bladder trauma, ... Read More

Class action lawsuit filed against heparin manufacturer Baxter

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Baxter Healthcare Corp., claiming the company began substituting ingredients in its anti-coagulant heparin with a dangerous counterfeit to “reap greater profits as a result of utilizing cheap component parts,” according to The Madison St. Clair (Illinois) The Record. Joyce Ann Osteen filed the suit in St. Clair County, Illinois, and claims Baxer purposefully added a contaminant, over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate, or OSCS, to heparin manufactured in its China plant. The tainted heparin was distributed to the U.S., where hundreds of allergic reactions occurred. More than 80 people died and hundreds more were sickened ... Read More

Low molecular weight heparin drug found effective in IVF-ET

Enoxaparin, a low-molecular weight heparin, is getting praise from the Journal of Human Fertility for its safety and effectiveness for the prophylactic treatment of women with thrombophilia and recurrent in vitro fertilization-embryo transfer (IVF-ET) failures, according to IVG News.Direct! Thrombophilia refers to a number of genetic conditions that increase the tendency of the blood to clot, which can lead to serious and/or life-threatening complications depending on the location of the clot. It is a major factor associated with recurrent IVF-ET, as it can cause complications in pregnancy such as stillbirth, preeclampsia and declampsia. The study included 83 women with a ... Read More

Celgene issues letter warning of limited use of heparin drug

Just weeks after the FDA requested revised labeling for the low molecular weight heparin, Innohep, the FDA announced that its maker Celgene Corporation has issued a “Dear Healthcare Professional” letter describing a controlled clinical study that suggests an increased risk of death in elderly patients who received Innohep. Innohep contains tinzaparin sodium that is given to patients in conjunction with warfarin sodium intravenously to treat blood clots that have occurred deep in the veins of hospitalized patients who may or may not have also experienced the occurrence of blood clots in their lungs (pulmonary embolism). In early December, the FDA ... Read More

Heparin scandal makes 2008 top 10 lists

The tainted heparin scandal was listed as the No. 1 story in the Chicago Tribune’s “The Top 10 local business stories of 2008.” Early in 2008, more than 80 Americans died and hundreds more were sickened after receiving injections of heparin. An investigation found that batches of heparin manufactured in Baxter International’s China facility had been tainted with a contaminant that caused severe allergic reactions in patients who received the doses. As a result, lots of heparin manufactured by Baxter International were recalled. The Chicago Tribune story says both the FDA and Baxter International believe the heparin was “intentionally adulterated ... Read More

Diabetic questions safety of insulin in light of heparin scandal

Meet Allie Beaty. As a diabetic, her life depends on insulin. She wants to make a difference for others like her, make “the world safer for people with diabetes,” she says on her Web page, Alliesvoice.com. So Allie established a diabetes think group and shares ”Love Diabetes” videos on YouTube to push her mission. Allie recently posted a video on YouTube in light of the heparin scandal, asking “Is my insulin tainted?” Last year, more than 80 Americans died and hundreds more were sickened after receiving doses of the blood thinner heparin. An investigation found that batches of heparin manufactured ... Read More

Consumer groups, institute team up to urge FDA reform

The National Academies of Sciences Institute of Medicine, the Consumer Federation of America and the Center for Science in the Public Interest have joined together to urge the incoming Obama administration to address food safety issues that have plagued the FDA in the past few years. However, the Institute of Medicine and the consumer groups disagree on the legalities, according to Flesh and Stone. According to the report, the Institute of Medicine issued a statement recommending the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service and the food safety activities of the FDA within HHS should be unified. The consumer groups argue ... Read More

Europeans now dependent on China for Panadol, Tylenol

Rhodia SA, a leading producer of paracentamol drugs Panadol and Tylenol, will close its factory in France this week, leaving Europe completely dependent on imports for that drug, according to Bloomberg. Rhodia says it is dropping out of the $800 million paracentamol business because of stiff competition from Asian producers who can export the same product at a fraction of the cost. The news is a double-blow for Europeans, not only for the 43 employees who lost their jobs, but for consumers who have expressed concerns about the quality of drugs and other products made and manufactured in China. Products ... Read More