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Trasylol: "We Need To Know About Those Risks"

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Bangor, MERoxanne H (not her real name) says she is not sure why her husband died following his open heart surgery but she says that Trasylol may have played a role in his death. Like many others who lost a loved one unexpectedly following open heart surgery, Roxanne is now trying to determine whether or not her husband was given Trasylol.

"His surgery happened in August 2003," Roxanne says. "My husband was 65 years old and in very good health. He went for a physical and stress test where he was told that he needed bypass surgery. He went into the hospital and had what I was told was a very successful bypass surgery. Anyhow, he came through the surgery fine. That day and the next day he was out of bed and eating and everything was normal.

Medical Consultation"Two days after the surgery he became very altered. He was looking and sounding like he was drugged—he seemed out of it. The next day he was in cardiac arrest. They revived him and realized that he was complaining about pain in his stomach. The medical staff opened him up and discovered that he was septic. Five days later my husband was dead. No one has been able to explain what happened. When I saw the news about Trasylol, it tweaked something for me. It seemed possible that is what happened to him.

"I don't know for sure if Trasylol was given to him but his kidneys were a part of what happened. His systems failed and kidney failure was part of it. I know for sure that his kidneys failed but what caused them to fail, I don't know. Even in talking to the doctors afterwards, all I heard was, 'We just don't know what happened.'

"My husband was in very good health. He was attentive to his physical health. When we heard about the bypass surgery we thought it was no big deal because everybody has bypass surgeries and he had no major problems with his kidneys up to that point. In fact, we were married for 15 years and he was not in the hospital once in that whole time until the bypass.

"He went from a man who was walking and sitting up after surgery to someone who was in bed and looked completely drugged and not paying attention. There was no communication possible with him. They [medical staff] told me at first that he might need rest and sent me home, but then they called me to tell me he'd had a cardiac arrest.

You have to be in control of your medical care. If these drugs do have these effects on people, we need to know ahead of time about those risks."

Patients are now investigating a class action lawsuit against the maker of Trasylol, alleging that the company knew about the risk of kidney failure associated with the drug but failed to warn the public about that risk.



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