Heparin is an anticoagulant drug (blood thinner) that prevents the formation of blood clots manufactured by Baxter Healthcare. It is used to treat and prevent blood clots in veins, arteries or lungs and is also used before surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots. Heparin is usually injected into a vein, under the skin or by way of an intravenous catheter.
In 2006, there was an increase of reported severe allergic-type reactions to Heparin which caused a number of patient deaths. Those severe allergic-type symptoms included:
- Extreme Nausea
- Difficulty Breathing
- Excessive Sweating
- Decreased Blood Pressure
In 2008, Baxter recalled almost all of its Heparin products as an investigation revealed that it contained a contaminant known as over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate which caused severe side-effects in some patients. The contaminated Heparin also resulted in deaths of some patients.
More recently, a number of children have been injured or died as a result of overdoses of Heparin. Lawsuits were filed against the manufacturer Baxter, alleging adult and pediatric doses of Heparin were manufactured in vials of the same size and nearly identical backgrounds which resulted in dosing errors because of the difficulty in distinguishing between the two.
Certain medications can increase your risk of bleeding while using Heparin and you should talk to your doctor about any additional medications that you are taking. Report to your doctor immediately if you develop any of the following symptoms during or after a Heparin injection: nausea, light-headedness, shortness of breath, excessive sweating, sudden numbness or weakness, chest pain, difficulty breathing and, as to children/infants, extreme drowsiness, weakness or gasping for breath, as they could be associated with a more serious condition.
If you or your loved one suffered a serious health condition or died as a result of the use of Heparin, please contact our office today for a FREE consultation at 302-298-0370.