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Kidney failure, stroke, heart attack and death following open heart or bypass surgery have been caused by Trasylol®, a drug manufactured by the German pharmaceutical conglomerate, Bayer AG. It was intended to limit bleeding during surgery procedures.

But in November 2007 Bayer AG was forced to pull Trasylol® from the market following a request by the FDA.

The drug, which is made from the lung tissue of cattle, was meant to limit bleeding during and eliminate the need for transfusions. It was first approved by the FDA in 1993 and had grown into a lucrative product, making $338 million in sales in 2005.

But two recent studies concluded that death rates skyrocketed when Trasylol® was used. Not only were patients suffering heart attacks and strokes, but also encephalopathy and brain damage.

In February 2007 a study reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association, showed that Trasylol® accounted for a 50 percent increase in the risk of death.

In the study, the patients had been treated between November 1996 and December 2006. Survival assessments were made after six weeks, six months, and annually for five years following surgery. Among the findings: 1,072 patients received Trayslol, 834 received aminocaproic acid, and 442 received Cyklokapron. After five years, there were 223 deaths in Trayslol group, 132 in the aminocaproic acid arm and 65 in the Cyklokapron group.

Evidence was overwhelming that Trasylol® was shortening lives and causing agony to the families of victims. Now countries all over the world have taken steps to ban the drug. Even China recently suspended Trasylol®, so you know it has to be bad.

For families who have lost loved ones after heart surgery and survivors of heart surgery who suffered unexpected complication, should act promptly.

Legal claims must be filed within a limited time period controlled by the Statute of Limitations. File one day late and your claim will be outlawed. Every state strictly enforces its Statute of Limitations and the time limit varies from state to state.

Failure to file a meritorious claim within the statute of limitations will provide Bayer AG with an absolute defense. Learn more about these time limits and how, in some cases, they can be extended.

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Richard Alexander