Trasylol Increases Death Rate Among Heart Surgery Patients

September 22, 2009
By Dan Irving Cytryn, Esq. on September 22, 2009 4:00 PM |

Bayer's drug trasylol, also known under the generic name aprotinin, was widely administered during heart surgery to control bleeding, but research indicates that it may be responsible for a multitude of deaths.

A 2006 study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that trasylol increased patients' risks of kidney failure, heart attack, and stroke. The researchers concluded that the drug accounted for $1 billion in annual dialysis costs as a result of the 10,000 to 11,000 cases of kidney failure attributed to its use.

Additional studies in the United States and Canada revealed that patients receiving trasylol incurred a much higher death rate than those who had received other drugs

According to a report on CBS News' 60 Minutes, trasylol was given to 52-year-old Joseph Randone in January 2008 to decrease the bleeding risk during what should have been routine heart valve replacement surgery. Shortly after the surgery, he suffered two heart attacks and kidney failure. Eventually, his legs had to be amputated, his eyes sewn shut, and a pacemaker implanted in his heart before his eventual death. His surgeon indicated that he believed trasylol caused the complications.

Bayer allegedly concealed information from one of its own studies about the dangers of using trasylol during an FDA advisory hearing in September 2006. In the face of mounting evidence of the drug's adverse effects, the FDA requested in November 2007 that Bayer stop sales. However, it was not until May 2008 that Bayer recalled any remaining supply of the drug from the market.

On April 25, 2008, Bayer announced that 78 trasylol lawsuits were filed. The first trasylol trial consolidated in a multidistrict litigation is now scheduled to begin on January 18, 2010 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.

If you believe that you have been harmed by a dangerous drug, contact us for an evaluation.

Dan Irving Cytryn is a Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer handling injury and accident cases for more than 28 years. He is rated the highest ability and ethics rating, "AV", by Martindale Hubbell, a company rating lawyers for more than 100 years. Additional information can be found on the Avvo website.