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Heparin Contamination Possibly More Widespread than Thought

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Los Angeles, CALawsuits are now being filed against Heparin's manufacturers alleging those companies are responsible for the recent Heparin contamination and subsequent illness of patients exposed to the drug. Some lawsuits have already been filed; however as more news about the contamination is released, many more people will likely realize that they, too, were a victim of Heparin and file lawsuits.

Roger Drake, an attorney with Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, says that although the main focus of the lawsuit is Baxter and Scientific Protein Labs, other defendants could be uncovered. "We think the contamination is more widespread than Baxter," Drake says. "There may be many more cases out there where people were given Heparin that was manufactured by other companies. We're still in the early stages of litigation. Because all the federal cases have been consolidated in front of one judge, discovery will begin very soon. We will know more as litigation unfolds over the next couple of months."

Drake notes that there are serious side effects associated with contaminated Heparin. "The signature injury that we're seeing is an extreme and sudden drop in blood pressure that can lead to severe injuries and prolonged hospitalization, and in some cases, even death" Drake says. "More moderate injuries include nausea and flu-like symptoms that happen immediately after taking contaminated Heparin. Those symptoms can last a few days or several weeks."

As news about the Heparin contamination spreads, people have begun to realize that, even though they did not receive Heparin injections, they may still have been exposed to the drug through other means. Those include flushes with PICC lines and Heparin-coated devices. These people are also eligible to file lawsuits against Heparin manufacturers.

If possible, people who believe they were exposed to contaminated Heparin should try to confirm that the Heparin they used was part of the recent recall. This can be done by checking the lot number on the Heparin and checking that against the lot numbers on the FDAs website. They should also follow up with their primary care physician to see if there was a link between Heparin and injuries suffered. However, those who cannot figure out a lot number can still contact a lawyer, who will try to find out what Heparin lot was used.

Drake says he believes there are many potential victims who have not associated their illness or injuries with contaminated Heparin. If you suffered a sudden, extreme drop in blood pressure and/or flu-like symptoms at any point between late 2007 and early 2008, and you were exposed to Heparin, then the drug may have been the cause of your health problems.

"This is a worthwhile case to pursue," Drake says. "This type of outsourcing to China for drugs and other products has caused widespread havoc and distribution of contaminated drugs and equipment."

If you were harmed by contaminated Heparin, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit against the maker of the drug. Contact a lawyer to discuss your legal options


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