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FDA: More Deaths Linked to Heparin

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By Admin on April 09, 2008 9:57 AM

Over the last 15 months, at least 103 patients have died after receiving heparin blood-thinning medication, according to information released Tuesday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. In February 2008, Baxter Healthcare Corporation recalled multi-dose and single-dose vials of heparin sodium for injection after FDA scientists identified a previously unknown contaminant in the heparin. To ensure that all is being done to provide a safe supply of heparin, FDA is urging medical device manufacturers to screen for the potentially harmful contaminant. The Los Angeles Times reports that "products to be tested cover a spectrum of equipment and uses," including "kits that flush out intravenous lines, drug-coated stents for opening clogged arteries and certain diagnostic tests that use heparin and could deliver inaccurate results if contaminated."