GranuFlo Side Effects
If you or a close loved one have regular dialysis sessions, you’re already acquainted with dialysate – even if you don’t call the mixture by that name. The dialysate is the chemical mixture, usually a liquid, that cleans the blood as it goes through the dialysis machine. To work properly, the dialysate not only has to have the right ingredients and the right acid/base balance, but it also has to clean the blood without leaving behind any chemical compounds or reactions that can cause serious injury.
GranuFlo, a dialysate manufactured by Fresenius and used in the company’s own dialysis centers as well as in other dialysis centers, can cause serious side effects. Many of these are linked to the fact that GranuFlo creates a buildup of bicarbonates in the bloodstream when used. If bicarbonate levels in the patient’s blood get too high, serious injuries or death can result. If you or a loved one has been injured during dialysis, the Jacksonville GranuFlo side effects attorneys at Farah & Farah can help.
How GranuFlo Works
During the dialysis process, GranuFlo comes into contact with the blood through a semi-permeable barrier, allowing impurities to transfer from the bloodstream into the GranuFlo and electrolytes and other substances to transfer from the GranuFlo into the bloodstream. This is the same basic process all dialysates use, and when it works properly, it produces the same effects the kidneys would if they worked properly: cleaning the blood and restoring electrolyte balance.
GranuFlo and its related dialysate, NaturaLyte, differ slightly from many other dialysates currently in use, however. They contain higher concentrations of bicarbonates or compounds that turn into bicarbonates once they enter the bloodstream. In low doses, bicarbonates help maintain the pH of the blood, which is why doctors also prescribe them for some kidney patients. If the dose is too high, however, serious injuries can result.
Side Effects and Injuries
Commonly-seen side effects and injuries related to GranuFlo use include the following:
- Hypotension (low blood pressure)
- Hypokalemia (low potassium)
- Hypoxemia (low blood oxygen levels)
- Hypercapnia (high blood carbon dioxide levels)
- Cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat)
These symptoms, if left untreated, can cause serious medical complications. Possible complications that can cause serious injury or even death include the below:
- Heart attack
- Cardiovascular diseases or injuries
- Metabolic alkalosis
In 2010 alone, Fresenius clinics linked 941 cases of cardiac arrest to the use of GranuFlo and/or NaturaLyte in its clinics, according to an internal memo circulated in 2011. Some of the cardiac arrest attacks proved fatal for those who suffered them; others caused serious heart damage or other injuries. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has since investigated Fresenius for failing to warn patients of the risks of GranuFlo use – even as the company was circulating the memo that warned its clinics. The FDA recalled GranuFlo and NaturaLyte in 2012.
Jacksonville GranuFlo Side Effects Lawyers Seeking Justice after Injury
Kidney disease and kidney failure are hard conditions to live with, even when all your treatments go according to plan. When a defective dialysate or other product causes harm, the resulting injuries can be severe – even fatal. If you’ve been injured by the use of GranuFlo or a similar product, please don’t hesitate to contact a Jacksonville injury lawyer at Farah & Farah to learn more about your legal rights. Your initial consultation with our Florida GranuFlo injury lawyers is free and confidential.