Four months after a recall was issued for contaminated heparin, a cardiac bypass patient was administered the contaminated drug, causing him to develop a severe bacterial infection. He ultimately lost his left leg and right foot due to the infection.
This tragic incident led to a lawsuit against the hospital for its alleged negligence in allowing the administration of recalled medication.
Hospital Fights Back, Attempts to Get Case Dismissed
According to court documents, early in the trial, the hospital filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing that it was exempt from prosecution because it had not received the required pretrial notification (which is necessary for medical malpractice cases).
The plaintiff’s attorneys fired back that the case was not medical malpractice, but that it was a case that involved product liability and negligence on the part of the hospital.
The court ruled in favor of the plaintiff, allowing the trail to proceed.
Background on the Heparin Recall
Manufactured by Baxter Healthcare, Heparin is an anticoagulant drug that has come under fire in recent years due to contamination that caused severe injury and even death to some patients. Plaintiffs have also alleged that the confusing packaging and dosage directions have caused some infants and children to be overdosed, seriously – if not fatally – injuring them.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began recalling Baxter’s heparin in 2008 following mounting reports of patients’ allergic reactions. Symptoms of those reactions included:
- Difficulty breathing
- Profuse sweating
- Low blood pressure
Heparin Is Not the Only Blood Thinner to Come Under Fire
While it remains to be seen how the case against the hospital that administered the contaminated heparin will be resolved, it’s important to note that heparin is not the only blood thinning medication to be linked to serious risks – or to be the subject of dangerous drug litigation.
In fact, some other prominent blood thinning drugs, including Bayer’s Xarelto and Boehringer Ingelheim’s Pradaxa, have seen their day in court:
- In 2014, Pradaxa’s manufacturer Boehringer Ingelheim settled more than 4,000 lawsuits for $650 million. The allegations in these cases were that Pradaxa caused uncontrollable bleeding and that Boehringer Ingelheim failed to warn patients about this life-threatening risk.
- In 2015, Xarelto’s manufacturer Bayer was facing more than 5,000 lawsuits, 500 of which have been for patient deaths, due to allegations that the drug caused severe bleeding events
Contact a Denver Personal Injury Attorney at the Klibaner Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been harmed by any type of dangerous drug, contact a Denver personal injury attorney at the Klibaner Law Firm for honest answers about your recovery options.
You can call us at (303) 863-1445 or email us using the contact form on this page to set up a free, no obligations consultation with one of our attorneys. From our offices based in Denver, our attorneys provide superior representation to injured people throughout the Denver metro area and Colorado.