Talk about bad press. A year after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a Class I GranuFlo recall of two dialysis drugs widely used at clinics operated by Fresenius Medical Care, one such center in Alabama has closed after a report from last year noted two infection-related patient deaths, a local newspaper reports.

According to a recent article published online at AL.com, Alabama’s Bessemer Kidney Center was shut down May 8th by Fresenius after a report found that two patients had died, and others were hospitalized at the dialysis center. This facility is one of about a dozen flagged for deficiencies in infection control, disinfection, glove use and hand washing, the May 18th report said. Given its dangerous nature, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Alabama Department of Public Health have been called to investigate the situation.

According to the report, Bessemer Kidney Center did not meet health department standards for infection control, disinfection, glove use and hand washing, and the deficiencies “had the potential to affect all patients served by the facility,” according to the report.

Dialysis Lawsuits Consolidated in Massachusetts Federal Court MDL

Meanwhile, Fresenius is currently facing a mounting litigation of dialysis lawsuits, not to mention an FDA investigation over whether the company dragged its feet in warning patients of the catastrophic heart risks associated with NaturaLyte and GranuFlo before the recall in June 2012. The Class I recall is the FDA’s most serious type of recall, and is only announced in the event that the agency determines there to be reasonable chance a product will cause severe side effects and even death.

According to dialysis lawsuits, the acid concentrates have the potential to cause cardiovascular death, cardiac death, cardiopulmonary arrest, heart attacks and other life-threatening heart injuries. Claims involving GranuFlo and NaturaLyte side effects are now pending in a multidistrict litigation (MDL) underway in the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts. A Transfer Order issued March 29th, 2013 indicated there were 11 GranuFlo lawsuits filed in the U.S. at the time.

Fresenius may already be in hot water, however, as dialysis lawsuits have already uncovered an internal memo sent Nov. 4, 2011 that told doctors to adjust their dosage of GranuFlo and NaturaLyte, as they had been linked to 900 patient deaths. This message was sent months before the company issued an “Urgent Product Notification” warning about the potential for the drugs to cause heart-related side effects.

How to Contact a Dialysis Lawyer

Getting in touch with a GranuFlo lawyer at Bernstein Liebhard LLP is simple, and can help you get one step closer to stating your case against Fresenius. If you or a loved one suffered a heart-related injury after receiving one of these drugs during a treatment, call the Firm at (877) 779-1414.

Published May 22, 2013 by