Gadolinium-based contrast agents are intravenous drugs that are injected into your veins before you undergo a magnetic resonance imaging test (MRI, or a magnetic resonance angiography (MRA). The drugs are used to improve visual examination of your internal organs, blood vessels, tumors, and tissues.
As of now, the lawsuits that involve gadolinium-based contrast agents claim that the use of the drugs could result in:
- Gadolinium toxicity
- Gadolinium Deposition Disease
- Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis.
What Exactly is Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis?
This fatal disease makes your skin harden and causes your joints to contract. The hardening condition generally occurs between your thighs and ankles, and your upper arms to your wrists.
Usually, these symptoms develop over a period of a few weeks to months after exposure to the gadolinium-based contrast agent. Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis may also cause you to feel chronic pain and loss of mobility.
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Gadolinium Deposition Disease – What are the Symptoms?
Some of the most common symptoms of gadolinium deposition disease include:
- Intense burning of the skin. Patients have described it as pins and needles.
- Kidney Damage
- Numbness or tingling of your skin
- Pain in your bones, tendons, ligaments, and joints
- Persistent and severe headaches
- Your skin may appear spongy or rubbery
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What Kind of Compensation is Available in a Gadolinium Lawsuit?
As a victim of gadolinium toxicity after having an MRI or MRA, and having a gadolinium-based contrast agent used, you could 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
- Future and past loss of earning capacity
- Past and future enjoyment of life
- Punitive damages, if appropriate
What About Gadolinium Recalls and Warnings?
In December of 2017, the Food and Drug Administration required that warnings include gadolinium-based contrast agents. The notice was meant to alert medical professionals that gadolinium could remain in their patient’s bodies for months or even years after injection.
Also, a Medication Guide should be provided to you in an attempt to educate you about the potential dangers of gadolinium.
The manufacturers have warned that gadolinium from linear GBCAs may stay in a patient’s bodies for months or years after being used. Another warning was also issued saying that the highest concentrations of the gadolinium that remained in a patient’s body were found to be in the:
This warning also made it clear that even if patients had healthy functioning kidneys before having an MRI or MRA, the problem could still occur.
Patients at the highest risk are children and women who are pregnant. Additionally, health care professionals were warned that the retention of gadolinium increased when their patients were injected with GBCA instead of the macrocyclic GBCA.
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Have There Been any Food and Drug Administration Studies Regarding Gadolinium Use?
An FDA Safety Communication said that to date, the only known adverse health effect related to gadolinium retention in the body is infrequent and called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. This communication also stated that this disease only occurs in patients with pre-existing kidney failure.
Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration said they did receive a few reports that involve multiple organ systems in patients that do have normal kidney function.
However, a new class warning was issued by the Food and Drug Administration saying that more research on the retention of gadolinium in a patient’s body was needed. What this means is that the manufacturers of gadolinium-based contrast agents must conduct both human and animal studies in an attempt to assess the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents further.
The FDA also requires that a patient medication guide be provided that informs the patients about the risks involved with gadolinium-based contrast agents before it is injected into their veins.
What Do We Know About the Gadolinium Lawsuits?
We know that between 2008-2015 over 1,000 lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturers of gadolinium-based contrast agents. These lawsuits involve the patients who have contracted Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis after having a magnetic resonance imaging test or a magnetic resonance angiography scan where a gadolinium-based contrast agent was utilized.
When these lawsuits were first filed, most medical professionals were told that only their patients with existing kidney and renal problems could suffer injuries from the use of gadolinium-based contrast agents. That information was wrong.
Recent studies have shown that a patient could suffer severe injuries even if they have a healthy kidney and renal function. The MRI or MRA where a Linear Gadolinium-based contrast agent was used could still cause damage.
Additionally, the lawsuit further alleges that the manufacturers of gadolinium-based contrast agents didn’t warn health care providers about the dangers of these types of agents until May 21, 2018.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to being injected with a gadolinium-based contrast agent, contact the attorneys at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers. We may be able to assist you in filing your lawsuit to obtain the compensation you deserve.