Sunday, July 21, 2013

Veterinarians concerned about FDA’s hydroxyethyl starch warning July 17, 2013 By: Jennifer Fiala For The VIN News Service

When a patient presents with severe blood loss or shock, Dr. Tony Johnson often does what many veterinarians do in emergency situations. He administers the intravascular volume expander hetastarch as a first-line treatment.

“It's sort of viewed as the miracle cure for shock,” he said of the solution’s animal health application.

This cornerstone in fluid therapy — a popular colloid solution known by its chemical name, hydroxyethyl starch (HES) — is generating uncertainty from veterinarians across the country as federal regulatorswarn its use can cause mortality or severerenal disease in some human patients. 

Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), reacting to recent data showing that HES solutions may cause kidney injury and death in certain cases, advised against administering the drug to critically ill adult patients with preexisting renal dysfunction or sepsis or who are undergoing open heart surgery in association with cardiopulmonary bypass.

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