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Contaminated Heparin Still In Use

Saturday, May 10, 2008  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

This is incredible:

The Food and Drug Administration stepped up its heparin alerts to hundreds of hospitals, medical societies and pharmaceutical organizations on Friday after learning that some medical facilities still had the contaminated blood thinner among their supplies….

“Please help FDA spread the word about recalls of injectable heparin products and heparin flush solutions that may be contaminated with oversulfated chondroitin sulfate (OSCS). Affected heparin products have been found in medical care facilities in [California] since the recall announcement,” the notice read. “Although product recall instructions were widely distributed, they may not have been fully acted upon at all sites where heparin is used,” it said.

A spokeswoman for the FDA said that California authorities had sent a letter out on May 2 about gaps in the recall response.

“They checked and found more than a handful of hospitals had not removed all contaminated heparin,” said Karen Riley of the FDA. “We found it on crash carts, catheter labs, and even on one hospital pharmacist’s shelf,” she added. The additional alert should spur hospital surgery, cardiac and dialysis centers, which use a lot of heparin, to recheck for any contaminated heparin lots.”

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