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Bypass surgery

Drug widely Used in Bypass Surgery Raises Specter of Contamination

Thursday, August 19, 2010 by: M.Thornley
Tags: bypass surgery, contamination, health news

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(NewsTarget) In 2007, as reported by Rita Rubin in USA Today, an expensive drug sold worldwide in 1985, and used for coronary artery bypass surgery to prevent excessive bleeding, was under scrutiny. It was used on more than four million patients. The FDA approved the drug for use in coronary bypass surgery in 1993. In 2006 it was used 246,000 times in the USA.

In January of 2006 the drug was linked to kidney failure, heart attack and stroke in patients undergoing bypass surgery. However, a panel voted unanimously to keep the drug on the market. A representative of the manufacturer of this drug was present at that panel meeting and did not reveal the results of another study which also found the drug had serious risk factors for kidney failure, heart attack and stroke. The FDA updated labeling for the drug with warnings about the risks.

The study compared the death rates of four groups of patients who had had bypass surgery. 1,072 were given the drug; 834 were given another drug; 442 were given yet another drug; and 1,374 were given no drug at all to control excessive bleeding. Of the 1,072 who got the drug in question, half were more likely to die in the five years after surgery than the patients who received no drug. No such results were obtained with the other drugs.

The drug in question costs $1,300 per use while the other two were sold for $44 and $11 per use.
The drug manufacturer, in protest of the study results being used, said that their drug would probably be given to the sickest patients which would skew findings about the drug`s safety.

A study done by the New England Journal of Medicine reported the drug increased the risk of stroke by 181% and doubled the risk of kidney failure; the drug increased the risk of heart attack by 50%--and also increased the risk of encephalopathy.

The drug is made from bovine lung tissue. Bovine tissue, particularly spinal and brain, are considered risk factors for the transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE.

An article dated 2004 warns that patients who have had heart surgery are at risk of Alzheimer's within a few years of surgery. For this study, researchers followed almost 10,000 patients for five years after bypass surgery.

The article does not mention the drug implicated by the New England Journal of Medicine but since this drug was widely used it seems probable that the same drug was used for some or all of these surgeries.

In an article titled `Alzheimer's Disease vs. Creutzfeldt-Jakob,` Dr. Harriet Butchko examines the incidence of Creutzfeldt-Jakob, or CJD, and the frequency with which CJD is mistakenly diagnosed as Alzheimer`s. Both diseases are caused by prions, and their symptoms are similar. CJD can only be established by postmortem biopsy. Consequently, many CJD cases are mistakenly diagnosed as Alzheimer`s, and often the mistake is never rectified. On the `CHI: Precision Medical Data Mining` website, on the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy page, the drug in question is listed among others suspected of transmitting CJD. CJD can incubate for ten years or more before producing symptoms.

The drug was pulled from the market in 2007, and has since been the subject of many lawsuits. The drug manufacturer`s stock plummeted.

However, there are no reports of investigations into possible CJD contamination in relation to the use of this drug.

[Editor`s Note: NaturalNews is strongly against the use of all forms of animal testing. We fully support implementation of humane medical experimentation that promotes the health and wellbeing of all living creatures.]


About the author

M. Thornley enjoys walking, writing and pursuing a raw vegan diet and lifestyle.

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