Intravenous drugs called gadolinium-based contrast agents are injected into your veins before you have a magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI) or a magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). These drugs make it possible to improve the visual examination of your internal organs, blood vessels, tumors, and tissues.
The current lawsuits involving gadolinium-based contrast agents allege that the use of these drugs may result in:
- Gadolinium toxicity
- Gadolinium Deposition Disease
- Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis
What is Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis?
Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis is a fatal disease that makes your skin harden and causes your joints to contract. Usually, they are between your ankles to thighs, your wrists, and upper arms will be affected.
These symptoms typically develop over a period of a few weeks to months after exposure to a gadolinium-based contrast agent. As a consequence, you may experience chronic pain and loss of mobility.
What Are the Symptoms of Gadolinium Deposition Disease?
Some of the most common symptoms of gadolinium deposition disease include:
- Intense burning of the skin. Patients have described it as pins and needles.
- Pain in the bones, ligaments, tendons, and joints
- Numbness or tingling of the skin
- Kidney damage
- Persistent and severe headaches
- Your skin may appear spongy or rubbery
What Kind of Compensation is Available to Me in a Gadolinium Lawsuit?
If you’ve been a victim of gadolinium toxicity after undergoing an MRI or MRA with a gadolinium-based contrast agent, you may be able to receive the following compensation:
- Past and future medical expenses related to your injuries
- Past and future pain and suffering caused by your injuries, including your treatment and recovery process
- Future and past wage loss
- Loss of earning capacity
- Past and future enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
Have There Been Any Gadolinium Recalls and Warnings?
The Food and Drug Administration, in December of 2017, required warnings to be included with gadolinium-based contrast agents. This warning was intended to notify physicians that gadolinium could remain in your body for months to years after you’ve been injected with this drug. A Medication Guide is supposed to be provided to you to educate you about the potential danger.
In May of 2018, the four manufacturers of linear Gadolinium-Based Contrast Agents, (GBCAs) together issued a joint warning to all patients who had normal kidney function.
These manufacturers warned that gadolinium from linear GBCAs might remain in the body for months or years after being injected. A warning was also issued that said the highest concentrations of the retained gadolinium were found in the bones of patients, and their brain, skin, liver, spleen, and kidneys. The warning also said this occurred in patients that had healthy functioning kidneys before having their MRA or MRI.
The patients who have the highest risk are women who are pregnant and children. Also, medical providers were warned that the retention of gadolinium was increased when the patients were injected with linear GBCA instead of a macrocyclic GBCA.
What About FDA Studies About Gadolinium Use?
In a Food and Drug Safety Communication, it was said that to date the only known adverse health effect as it relates to gadolinium retention is rare, and called nephrogenic-systemic fibrosis, that happens in some patients with pre-existing kidney failure.
The Food and Drug Administration also said they’d received some reports that involve multiple organ systems in patients with normal kidney function.
However, the Food and Drug Administration did issue a new class warning and additional research on the retention of gadolinium in the body caused by gadolinium-based contrast agents used in MRI’s.
This means that the manufacturers of gadolinium-based contrast agents must conduct both human and animal studies to further asses the use of these contrast agents.
Also, the Food and Drug Administration requires that a patient medication guide that provides the patient with educational information should be given to every patient before they are injected with a gadolinium-based contrast agent.
What is Known About the Gadolinium Lawsuits?
Between 2008-2015 over 1,000 lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of gadolinium-based contrast agents. The trials involve patients who have experienced Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis after having a magnetic resonance imaging or magnetic resonance angiography scan that used a gadolinium-based contrast agent.
When the lawsuits were first filed, medical professionals were told that only patients with kidney and renal issues could suffer injuries from the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents. This doesn’t seem right.
It’s been discovered that severe injuries can occur in patients with normal kidney function who had an MRI or MRA where a Linear GBCA was utilized.
The lawsuit also alleges that the manufacturers of gadolinium-based contrast agents didn’t warn medical professionals of the danger of these agents until May 21, 2018.
If you’ve suffered injuries due to being injected with a gadolinium-based contrast agent, the South Carolina attorneys at The Jeffcoat Firm will assist you in filing your lawsuit to obtain the compensation you deserve.