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Lawsuits mounting against Fresenius over Tainted Dialysis Additives, Rash of Heart Injuries and Deaths

Jan 23, 2013

A growing number of lawsuits are accusing the operators of the nation’s largest kidney dialysis centers of hiding evidence that showed its dialysis additive products, GranuFlo and Naturalyte, were dangerous and likely to cause the death of a patient.

According to a report this week, Fresenius Medical stands accused in numerous lawsuits across the country of hiding evidence that these additive products delivered during the dialysis process contained too much acetone that caused people to experience high levels of bicarbonate in their blood, a life-threatening condition.

Fresenius owns and operates kidney dialysis centers across the country, outpatient clinics where people go to have their dialysis performed. There are currently 15 claims against the company for hiding evidence that showed GranuFlo and Naturalyte contained too much acetone but the company continued to dispense the products anyway, potentially putting thousands of people at risk of dying after they received one of these tainted treatments.

In one of the cases against Fresenius, the family of a deceased 48-year-old woman from Kentucky says their loved one, Linda Teague, received one of these contaminated treatments in January 2011 at a Fresenius center in the state. She died soon after the treatment of cardiac arrest. 

The complaint against Fresenius says the company knew for years that its GranuFlo and Naturalyte products contained too much acetone but continued to dispense them at their company-owned centers nationwide for “several years.” The complaint states that Fresenius failed to warn physicians at its centers that high levels of bicarbonate in a patient’s blood increases the risk of cardiac injuries or death by six times.

At least 900 people have suffered a heart attack in recent years after attending a Fresenius dialysis center and the Food and Drug Administration issued a Class I recall on GranuFlo and Naturalyte back in March 2012. Later that summer, the agency launched a formal investigation into the rash of reports of cardiac problems suffered by patients who attended these clinics.

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