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Frank Bailey
Frank Bailey
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Deadly Heparin

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Pet food, children’s toys, and now Heparin…all unsafe Chinese products. Investigators are trying to determine if the drug Heparin was deliberately contaminated with a fake ingredient resulting in up to 19 known deaths.
We know Heparin is a commonly used blood thinner. All the ingredients come from China. Dr. Janet Woodcock, the Federal Drug Administration’s deputy commissioner said it is possible a fake chemical was substituted for a fraudulent reason.
The contaminated drug might be responsible for hundreds of severe allergic reactions. We know that medical errors are a leading cause of death and injury in the United Stated. The Institute of Medicine estimates that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die in hospitals each year as a result of medical errors. Now we can add 19 more to that total due to Chinese imports.
Baxter International Inc. sold 100,000 doses of Heparin a year until the serious side effects were noted. On January 17 and February 28 a recall was instituted. Was the recall too late?
Heparin is made from a complicated chemical derived from crushed pig intestines. This leaves a huge opportunity for other chemicals to be in the product. Baxter bought the pig-derived ingredient form Scientific Protein Laboratories. That company made the ingredient at a plant in Changzhou, China.
Baxter officials said the contamination could have taken place in China or at its plant in Wisconsin.
There is a Baxter plant here in Mountain Home, Arkansas, but that plant does not appear to have any connection with the tainted Heparin which is commonly used in dialysis treatment and heart procedures.
This is another lesson why we have to be so careful about imported products that we rely on more and more. This weekend, I noticed my shoes, belt and shirt all contained labels, “Made in China.” What next?
If you have questions about Heparin or other products manufactured in China, you are welcome to ask us here at the Bailey and Oliver Law Firm. We are very much interested in preventing tragic deaths which could have easily been nipped in the bud if proper testing procedures were in place.