Baxter probes fluid as cause of fatal contamination
By Bruce Japsen, Tribune Staff Reporter. Tribune news services contributed to this story
Published November 7, 2001
With Baxter International Inc. acknowledging that its dialysis filters may be to blame for dozens of deaths worldwide, investigators want to know how a fluid used to test the products might have come into deadly contact with patients' blood, federal health officials said Tuesday.
The chemical, known as Performance Fluid 5070, was supposed to evaporate after it was used to test for leaks and before the dialysis filters were packaged at a Baxter plant in Sweden. The filters, called dialyzers, remove waste from the blood of patients with kidney failure.
But federal health officials and Baxter now say the chemical remained in the filters in a residue form and may have been responsible for many of the 53 deaths reported in seven countries, including the U.S.
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