We’re You Given Trasylol? Here’s How To Find Out

Trasylol was given to thousands of patients in the United States from 1993 to 2007 when it was pulled off the market. The drug, used to control post surgical bleeding primarily after heart surgeries, has been linked to possibly thousands of deaths – leaving patients and families of patients wondering if Trasylol was used during their operation.

Many simply don’t know

Whether Trasylol was used in an operation is a key question, according to Neil Overholtz, a Florida attorney whose practice represents clients injured by drugs such as Trasylol, who says that patients are unlikely to know whether they were given Trasylol during their surgery. He explained:

Many times, they really will not know exactly what the complications are that led to the death – including kidney failure cases where the person doesn’t die and they’re on dialysis. We see this in all forms of pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. The death cases largely go uncounted and unaccounted for because when people die as their families don’t want autopsies done. When someone’s gone, they’re gone. There’s nothing that can be done about it.

So, you don’t see the level of analysis that goes into the treatment of a patient who’s still living. We saw this in the medical device litigation where patients died of cardiac arrest and were buried with their devices – which were never tested and their doctors certainly never analyzed whether or not they felt the device failed.

Those cases were never reported to the FDA and were never included in any data that the medical device manufacturers were counting in determining the failure rate. The same thing happens here. Families often hear that there were complications with the surgery or post-surgically and they did everything they could. You know, ‘He went into cardiac arrest. We tried to resuscitate and were unable to do so.’ That’s all you ever hear about the case – which is what some of this newest data has shown. The Duke study that came out looked at the increased risk of death beyond just increased kidney failure.

How to find out

In order to find out whether Trasylol was used, Overholtz says that patients need to get medical and billing records from the hospital. He explained what types of records are most important:

  • Medical records. The number one record that’s probably going to indicate the use is called the profusion record or the anesthesiology record. The anesthesiology – the use of any IV fluids during the surgery, is going to be recorded on the anesthesiology record and/or the profusion record. The profusion record basically tracks any and all drugs that are given to the patient during the surgery through IV. That’s the first place to look.

    If Trasylol was used, it’s going to be indicated there. However, those records are usually handwritten and may be very difficult to read. Sometimes, there might just be a “T” listed instead of the word Trasylol. There aren’t usually standardized requirements for the tracking of what drugs are used on the anesthesia record or the profusion record.

  • Billing records. The next place is the billing record. The cost of Trasylol is significant. The hospital cost of the drug is significant and therefore, getting reimbursed from the third party payer, the insurance company or Medicare is very important for the hospital. They’re going to include the use of Trasylol in the billing record. So, that’s the next place to look. Many times, it will be a line item Trasylol Aprotinin and the cost of the drug.

    However, sometimes the billing record will not include a line item analysis for Trasylol. It may just include an anesthesia cost with one simple code and not individual line items of each different drug that was given. So, it really takes a combination of looking at all of those records to try to make a determination as to whether or not they were given Trasylol.

Attorneys can help clients to obtain whatever records are needed. If you’ve been injured due to a drug such as Trasylol and would like to contact an attorney whose practice focuses in this area of the law to discuss your situation, please click here. Consultations are free, without obligation and strictly confidential. We may be able to help.

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