If you are on dialysis, you are vulnerable. Obviously. The last thing you need is someone who pretends to provide a product that helps while actually knowing that the product is going to create a risk to dialysis patients. That appears to be what we have in these Fresenius NaturaLyte and GranuFlo cases.
Many Baltimore-area dialysis patients are exposed to injury because of defective dry and liquid acid concentrates manufactured by Fresenius Medical Care. Fresenius makes two products, NaturaLyte liquid acid concentrate and GranuFlo dry acid concentrate.
What is Dialysis?
Hemodialysis is a process to treat renal failure. The kidneys are supposed to remove excess waste, water, and acid from the blood. When the kidneys lose function, their job can be taken over by a dialysis center. A patient’s blood will flow through a machine, where it will be cleaned and returned to the body.
How are NaturaLyte & GranuFlo Defective
The NaturaLyte and GranuFlo products are intended to help dialysis patients remove excess acid from the blood. Acid builds up in blood, and because the kidneys are not functioning properly, it must be removed through other means. NaturaLyte and GranuFlo are supposed to help the body to create bicarbonate, which can counteract the blood’s acidity.
Unfortunately, the NaturaLyte and GranuFlo products cause the body to create too much bicarbonate, which can be just as dangerous as too much acid. Too much bicarbonate can cause the following injuries:
- heart attacks
- cardiac problems
- low blood pressure
- hypoxemia (low blood oxygenation)
- irregular heartbeat
- excessive carbon dioxide in the blood
- increased potassium build-up
Importantly, patients who receive GranuFlo or NaturaLyte have a four to six times increased risk of heart attack within 48 hours of dialysis.
Fresenius unbelievably knew that their products were dangerous, but they did not warn outside dialysis centers. They told their own doctors (Fresenius operates over 130,000 dialysis centers in the United States), but they did not inform other dialysis companies which use GranuFlo and NaturaLyte. It wasn’t until an internal company memo was leaked to the FDA that Fresenius sent out an actual warning to physicians, about four months later. That warning was important—there were 910 patients who suffered heart attacks at Fresenius dialysis centers in 2010. It goes without saying that other dialysis centers had the same problem. The FDA has required NaturalLyte and GranuFlo recalls.
Is My Dialysis Center Run by Fresenius?
Patients who received treatment at a Fresenius dialysis center certainly had NaturaLyte or GranuFlo used in their treatment. However, keep in mind that many other non-Fresenius dialysis centers use the defective drugs as well, purchased straight from Fresenius. Here is a list of Maryland Fresenius dialysis centers:
- Fresenius Medical Care—Anne Arundel (Annapolis, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland)
- Renal Advantage Inc. Baltimore—Beltsville (Baltimore, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Camp Springs (Suitland, Maryland)
- Liberty Dialysis—Charing Cross (Catonsville, Maryland)
- Renal Advantage Inc. Chillum-Hyattsville (Hyattsville, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Elkston (Elkton, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Fort Foote (Fort Washington, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Fort Washington (Fort Washington, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Genesis Springbrook (Silver Spring, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Greater Baltimore (Timonium, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care –Hagerstown (Hagerstown, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care –La Plata (La Plata, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care –Leonardtown (Leonardtown, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care –North Salisbury (Salisbury, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care Porter Dialysis—Dundalk (Baltimore, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care Porter Dialysis—Pikesville (Pikesville, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care Porter Dialysis—Rosedale (Rosedale, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care Porter Dialysis—White Marsh (Nottingham, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Prince George’s County (Lanham, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Princess Anne (Princess Anne, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—QCDC Southern Maryland (Camp Springs, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Robinwood (Hagerstown, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Rockville (Rockville, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Salisbury (Salisbury, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Silver Spring (Silver Spring, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—South Annapolis (Annapolis, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Surratts (Clinton, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Takoma Park (Hyattsville, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Waldorf (Waldorf, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Washington (Bethesda, Maryland)
- Fresenius Medical Care—Wheaton (Wheaton, Maryland)
How Do I Know if I Have a Dialysis Lawsuit?
If you are on dialysis and had a cardiac problem, like a heart attack, contact our GranuFlo and NaturaLyte product defect lawyers at 1.800.553.8082, or online for a free consultation. We can help you to determine what product was used for your dialysis treatments, and whether that product likely caused your heart problems.