ProPublica has uncovered that in 2009 GE knew their gadolinium contrast agent could cause gadolinium toxicity. However, instead of informing the public of the dangers, the company took great lengths to hide the information.
Gadolinium is a chemical element carrying the atomic number 64 and the atomic symbol Gd. Belonging to Lanthanides, a group of elements in the periodic table, the chemical is a rare earth element. Microwave applications, color TV tubes, synthetic gemstones, compact discs, and computer memory use it. The medical community uses this chemical element as an injectable contrast agent when patients undergo magnetic resonance Imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) scans.
Before undergoing an MRI or MRA, a gadolinium contrast agent is injected into the bloodstream and is stored in the blood vessels and abnormal tissue. This is so doctors can easily detect and trace any problems found within the body. Previously, researchers said this chemical element was safe for use in MRIs and MRAs. In fact, the element is very toxic. The kidney expels the chemical after receiving the injection. However, regardless of kidney health patients can develop complications from the element spreading in the body.
GE Knowing Gadolinium Toxicity
The ProPublica study uncovered that GE researchers in a 1990 gadolinium safety study needed to collect all the gadolinium excreted through the kidneys of patients. However, even after three weeks, they were still missing about 25%. Yet, GE still reassured researchers that there was nothing to worry about. The company insisted that the patients sweated out the missing gadolinium. Using this knowledge, researchers published the study concluding that Omniscan is safe and effective. Yet, upon learning GE hid other studies of Omniscan’s problems, researchers withdrew the paper from the journal.
It was not until 2007 that the FDA pressed all makers of gadolinium-based imaging dyes to highlight the risk of gadolinium toxicity. Thousands could have been saved if GE didn’t cover up the research.
A gadolinium lawsuit may be an option for patients suffering from gadolinium retention and related complications. Gadolinium in MRI and MRA scans can create chemical element retention in the body. Therefore, this increases the risk of gadolinium deposition disease. These conditions are accompanied by symptoms that include severe physical pain and cognitive difficulties. Affected patients and their loved ones may be able to file a lawsuit and recover damages.
For more information, contact The Michael Brady Lynch Firm. We offer free, confidential, no-obligation consultations. We have also over 20 years of experience helping consumers injured by unsafe products manufactured by large companies.