Germany recalls heparin blood anticoagulant

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More than 70 peoples fell sick because of heaprin injections used during dialysis medical procedure for their kidney problems, reported by German health authorities.

This is another incidence reported of contamination of heparin – a blood thinner used in surgical medical procedures. As reported in media, the situation was caused by locally made heparin, but main constituent were imported from China. Heparin is prepared from pig intestines and China is world’s leading source of heparin.

Earlier US had notified 19 mortalities due to heaprin usage. Heparin is an acidic glycosaminoglycan found especially in lung and liver tissue and having the ability to prevent the clotting of blood, used in the treatment of thrombosis.

Heparin helps to treat or prevent clots in the veins, arteries, lungs, or the heart, and to prevent clotting during open-heart surgery, dialysis, or in very sick patients who stay in bed. It is sold in the United States under the brand names of Calciparine, Liquaemin, Calciparine, Hepalean, and Heparin Leo, and Calcilean in Canada.

Germany has started testing the available heparin with RotexMedica pharmaceutical company. US is also investigating the case with the help of Baxter. Canada also notified its health authorities about heparin contamination.

This seems to be the worldwide problem, and it needs careful investigations for heparin sources from China. The situation might be worse in third world countries where health infrastructure is poor, and it would be difficult to identify the actual problem.

Source: Health Newstrack, India

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