When Should I Call a Lawyer About My Heparin Side Effects?

What Do We Really Know About Bad Heparin?

For the past month, popular search engines such as Google have been inundated with anxious people typing in questions such as, “Was contaminated Heparin given in NJ or PA hospitals?” or “What are the side-effects of contaminated Heparin?” Unfortunately, the FDA and Heparin manufacturer, Baxter, have been reluctant to release such information to the public. All we really know for sure is that the contaminant came from China and has been linked to 81 deaths and over 700 severe allergic reactions. With such vague answers, it”s easy to see why anyone who has been hospitalized in the past few months would have concerns.

Even more disturbing is the latest hypothesis from the FDA that the contamination of Heparin may have been intentional. Baxter president, Robert. L. Parkinson Jr., told members of a Congressional subcommittee this week that he is “greatly concerned that our Heparin product appears to be the target of a deliberate adulteration scheme.” And while no further information was given to elaborate on this theory, Heparin victims are speaking out. In fact, dozens of families participated in Congressional hearings this week to share stories about their Heparin side effects and to plead with lawmakers regarding stricter inspection standards.

Should I Call A Lawyer?

Here at Mininno Law Office, we have received numerous phone calls from NJ & PA residents whose loved ones were given Heparin and died shortly thereafter or became violently ill after using the drug. And while they are not 100% positive that the events are connected, they would still like answers for their own peace of mind. We understand the anxiety associated with this issue, so we have tried to compile a list to help you decide when to call a lawyer. And while we can not cover every circumstance or side effect, as a general rule of thumb you should call a lawyer if:

  • You or a loved one is a dialysis patient and has suffered unusual side effects after treatment. Some of these side effects include severe abdominal pain, diarrhea and swollen throat that affects the ability to breathe.
  • Your loved one is an otherwise healthy dialysis patient and died shortly after a recent treatment.
  • You or a loved one is a heart patient and has suffered the same side effects listed above.
  • You were given Heparin for a high risk pregnancy and suffered chest pains, shortness of breath and required hospitalization after using the drug.
  • You or a loved one has undergone routine a surgical procedure and experienced the same potentially deadly side effects listed above.

If you can identify with any of these scenarios, there is a good chance that you may have been given contaminated Heparin. I highly suggest that you contact a lawyer immediately to begin an investigation with trained medical professionals. Furthermore, if you would like to speak with our licensed RN and staff doctors regarding your symptoms, fill out the form on the left side of the page or call (856) 833-0600 in New Jersey or (215) 567-2380 in PA.
Our lawyers and medical malpractice professionals are available to answer any questions you may have regarding Heparin and the Heparin recalls.

Dennis Quaid Takes on Medical Errors & Baxter Heparin

In addition to facing lawsuits for contaminated heparin, pharmaceutical giant Baxter, is now facing a lawsuit from actor Dennis Quaid after his newborn babies almost died from a fatal heparin overdose. Apparently, a labeling mistake was to blame for a nurse injecting his twins with full-on heparin instead of Baxter’s Hep-Lock (which is a weaker form of the blood-thinning drug). And although Baxter changed the confusing labels after they were linked to other mix-ups and the death of three infants, the company did not recall the existing vials that were still being used in maternity wards across the US.

Baxter, however, continues to blame the staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for the error. Debra Bello, a senior director at Baxter, told reporters for CBS that the hospital bears full responsibility for the incident “because the product was safe and effective, and the errors, as the hospital has acknowledged, were preventable and due to failures in their system.”

I probably would buy that excuse if it weren’t for the fact that Baxter redesigned the label prior to this incident for the very reason that mix-ups were occurring. Obviously, they knew that the similarities in the labels were causing major problems, yet they failed to issue a recall to take the drug off the shelves. Not too smart in my opinion- and now they have to deal with a lawsuit from Dennis Quaid and all the negative publicity that comes with it.

In other Dennis Quaid news, the actor has also decided to tackle the medical malpractice crisis by setting up a foundation to fund efforts to reduce medical errors. “We all have this inherent thing that we trust doctors and nurses, that they know what they”re doing. This mistake occurred right under our noses…the nurse didn”t bother to look at the dosage on the bottle,” Quaid told CBS. “It was avoidable, completely avoidable.”

It’s really sad when Dennis Quaid can see there is a problem in the medical community, yet our trusted lawmakers and officials do not. If they did, they would silence the cries for tort reform legislation and tell the doctors to deal with the problems by cleaning up their act. Maybe once a politician falls victim to medical malpractice, Washington will be singing a different song.

For further information on the recent heparin deaths or medical malpractice, click on the following link:

New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorney

Who Is Really To Blame For Contaminated Heparin?

I read an interesting post by a fellow blogger regarding the dangerous Chinese import saga. While I don”t entirely agree with his argument, I think his thoughts are worth re-printing in their entirety:

Ask yourself this question, How important is the health, safety, and well being of my family?

First it is toys from China being recalled because of various safety issues, but more specifically from lead in the paint. Now there is a recall on blood thinner [Heparin] manufactured in China, which is causing deaths in patients.

It is obvious in the Chinese quest for money it is willing to put our health and the health of our children at risk. When will the world community say acquiring cheap goods is not enough and demand quality in those goods? Do you support inhumane and unethical treatment of human beings just so you can by more “stuff”? The Chinese should be scrutinized and held to our safety and health standards.

ABC News reports, FDA Links More Deaths to Blood Thinner:

Heparin is derived from a mucous obtained from pig intestines and other animal tissues, often processed by small, unregistered workshops in China.

FDA determined last month that Baxter”s drug was contaminated with an unnatural chemical during production at a plant in China.

This in part is our own fault. Demanding a bargain, the willingness to look the other way, and greed. The Wal-Mart economic plan (cheap second rate goods), which many of Americans support is jeopardizing our safety and economy. When will your family”s well being become more important than getting a good deal? It is your greed which is driving the Chinese economy?”

Ouch. That”s a bit hard to swallow, yet there is a lot of truth to it. Obviously there is something that is hindering the American public from speaking out against dangerous imports. Could it very well be our desire for cheap “stuff”?

While I believe that may be true with regard to the recent influx of toxic toothpaste, dog food and lead paint toys from China, I think the Heparin recalls fall outside of that box. My personal opinion is that most Americans feel helpless against the pharmaceutical giants (such as Baxter) who practically play puppet master with our politicians. They have an endless amount of resources, a tremendous amount of clout and because of this people just give up and accept whatever they dish out.

I just read an article about the rise in Heparin deaths by journalist Stanley Bing. Sadly, he decided to name his article “More Good News For Lawyers”.. Apparently, what he doesn”t realize is that people depend on trial lawyers for help when things like this happen. It is our job to take on these giants when they unleash their garbage (ex Heparin, Vioxx) on the public. Without the ability to file a lawsuit and affect the only thing that matters to these companies (i.e. their money), nothing will change and the despair will continue.

There needs to be some fear instilled in these drug companies. They need to realize that if they fail to keep the American public safe, there will be consequences. There will be lawsuits filed and they will loose a ton of money. It”s just that simple–and it”s our only hope.

For further information, click on the following links below:

Medical Malpractice Lawsuit Information

Heparin Deaths Jump From 19 to 62 According to FDA

The FDA announced this week that 62 deaths have now been linked to the blood-thinning drug, Heparin. This new estimate is almost triple the 19 fatalities reported last month. The drug, which is generally used in patients with heart problems and those undergoing surgery, is believed to be contaminated with man-made oversulfated chondroitin.

This contaminant is said to mimic chondroitin sulfate, which is a naturally occurring substance derived from animal cartilage and used to treat arthritis. While the FDA is still investigating the matter, it appears that the tainted animal cartilage containing oversulfated chondroitin has come from unregulated mom and pop pig farms in China.

I hope people are finally starting to notice a trend here. Chinese manufacturers have been the common denominator in the recent influx of dangerous imports, including contaminated toothpaste, dog food, and lead paint toys. Even more frightening, however, is the fact that the FDA will not completely recall the batches of contaminated Heparin out of fear the hospitals will experience a shortage. Based on that fact, I don’t see this issue going away anytime soon- especially if the FDA continues to allow Chinese manufacturers to operate below the regulation standards imposed in the U.S.

We will continue to post information on the Heparin recalls as they occur, so check back regularly for any new developments.

Mininno Law Office