Thursday, April 03, 2008

Frickin' China

Product recalls for things like toasters and Navin Johnson's Opti-grab are one thing. You go cross-eyed, you burn your house down, no big deal.

When the product gets injected into your daughter's heart once a day, and is recalled for things like 'anaphylactic-like reactions such as low blood pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain' it takes on an entirely different meaning.

Today we learned that the Covidien/Kendall heparin flushes: that we use to keep Ellie's central line from clotting when it is unhooked from the IV pump may be contaminated with a particularly nasty chemical compliments of a Chinese factory that cut corners in the already unsavory business of making heparing from animal byproducts.

Frickin' China.

This is the third round of recalls that have gone around this year related to the same company,SPL that supplies the heparin to the pharmaceutical companies.

So instead of an average Thursday night, I spent mine sorting through the dozens of flushes that we have on hand to weed out the bad flushes from the good.

All told we had less than ten good ones to get us through until the FedEx arrives tomorrow.

The bad ones, too numerous to count:
Now we wait, cross our fingers, and hope that the recall doesn't expand to include more lot numbers. The earlier recalls have expanded and one company recalled all of their flushes.

It is tough enough to push a flush into Ellie's CVL without thinking that it might be contaminated.

Frickin' China.

For those of you who have a central line and use flushes the recall announcement is online: http://investor.covidien.com/preview/phoenix.zhtml?c=207592&p=irol-newsArticle&id=1123186

Update: This morning a fresh shipment arrived via NextDayAir from NutriThrive. We have a dozen fresh flushes from BD. When I spoke to BD this morning they assured me that they manufacture their own heparin in the US and will not be affected by the problems in China. For now we will take them at their word and spread the news around. Now that we are feeling better read the article in the NY times from this week for an scary look at how the 'dirty' heparin is made:

Link to NYTimes Article


2 comments:

Kate said...

Gib, there aren't many people who would so quickly jump from heparin recalls to Navin Johnson. It says something about the sick, sick way your mind works.

I blame Dad.

Alicia said...

This story made NPR this morning - did you hear?

Glad everyone is doing well! We just love the pictures!

Alicia