FDA Updates Likely Heparin Death Toll
The FDA has released new information on the number of reported heparin-related deaths and the subset of deaths associated with allergic or hypotensive symptoms since January 2007. According to the FDA, there have been 103 reported deaths since the beginning of 2007, 91 (88%) of which were reported during 2008. Among these deaths, 62 (60%) were associated with one or more allergic or hypotensive reactions—the kinds of reactions that led to the recent recall of Baxter’s heparin; 56 of the 62 were reported during 2008. The FDA advises that the presence of allergic or hypotensive symptoms does not necessarily indicate a cause of death.