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Popular Surgery Medication Linked to Heart Attacks

The medical community is astir after recent reports that a popular medication given during surgery has the potential to stop patients’ hearts.  The drug, protamine sulfate, is given to patients undergoing open heart surgery and is used to reverse the effects of Heparin, an anti-coagulating drug.  Protamine sulfate is commonly used to neutralize the body during a Heparin overdose, as well.

Company Claims it is Thoroughly Investigating Reports

The company who makes protamine sulfate, Fresensius Ambi, says that the drug should be administered slowly to patients in order to prevent any negative side effects.  The company also says that it is investigating claims that the drug is linked to cardiac trauma, but has yet to report a link between the drug and heart failure.  Other possible side effects from the drug include hypertension and bronchoconstriction, or the constriction of the airways.

Many Patients Given Drug Without Knowing

It will be difficult for patients to know of their potential risks of cardiac trauma from protamine sulfate considering that many do not know that they have been given the drug.  Patients are typically given several drugs during surgery that would render them unconscious and unable to know about a protamine sulfate injection until after surgery was completed.  The manufacturer of protamine sulfate clearly has a responsibility to let doctors and patients know of a possible connection between the drug and cardiac trauma if one exists so that both can make an informed and wise decision regarding its use.

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