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Dialysis drug leads to wrongful death suit

A lawsuit based on an alleged medication error was filed against Fresenius, the company that produces GranuFlo and NaturaLyte, by the victim's widow. She claims that the drug company failed to adequately warn the public about adverse side effects such as sudden elevations in the bicarbonate level of the blood that can lead to heart attacks. The victim died after being given dialysis using one of the two drugs. The lawsuit seeks more than $75,000 in damages for claims including negligence and defective design.

More than 900 patients have died while using one of the two dialysis drugs in question, prompting the company to send an internal memo to its dialysis centers in November of 2011. The memo states that doctors at these centers should adjust the dosages of these drugs so that metabolic alkalosis does not result.

The FDA, upon learning of the internal memo, began an investigation culminating in its own Class 1 recall in May of 2012. Fresenius, in the meantime, finally issued a general memo to all providers of the products in March of 2012.

When companies have been negligent in providing information about their products to those who could be directly harmed by the use of those products, the victims may have the right to recover damages for the injuries they sustain. A personal injury attorney can explain the victim's rights and help him or her decide if a lawsuit is the right way to handle the situation. If the victim chooses to file a lawsuit, a personal injury attorney can represent the victim both in negotiations for settlement or in court if the case goes to trial.

Source: Injury Lawyer News, "Ohio Woman Files Lawsuit Over Husband's GranuFlo Death," Tracy Ray, Dec. 5, 2012

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