Sunday, November 16, 2008

+838 How Heparin is Made

Heparin is a anticoagulant solution that is used to keep IV or Hickman lines open so they will not clot with blood. I used to flush David's Hickman line twice/day. He doesn't have a line any more.

There was a brand of Heparin recalled (produced in China) about 6 months ago due to a dangerous contaminant. It does not surprise me since Heparin is commonly made from bovine or pig tissue. Heparin has also been extracted from the following species:

Turkey
Whale
Camel
Mouse
Humans
Lobster
Mussel
Clam
Shrimp
Crab
Sand Dollar

I almost got ill! This becomes an issue with me because I follow dietary rules. The only animal acceptable to me is the Turkey. Would you want to eat a whale, a camel, a mouse, a sand dollar? Why would I want to put something in my son's body that is made from these animals? Gross!

David does not get Heparin any more, but if he does, there is an alternative called: Argatroban which is a synthetic thrombin inhibitor derived from L-arginine (amino acid).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

All heparin sold in the US is made from pigs. The contamination found earlier this year appears to be the result of purposeful addition of a substance that mimics heparin, but is about 100 times cheaper (and apparently causes nasty side effects). The cause was criminals trying to make money, not because of what animals it is made from. Heparin is a very useful drug, relatively cheap, and has been in use in the US since the 30's, with no major problems until the recent issues.

Amy said...

So glad that Jacob does not get heparin anymore. I try not to think about it.

Amy

Andrea Marley said...

Aimee,
I was just looking at your blog yesterday morning, and then saw your message in Ethan's guestbook this morning. It's good to hear from you!

I'm sorry David can't be off the steroids yet. That's got to be so hard!

I'm glad you were able to go on a fun trip in October! We were too, and it's so important to have family fun time!

Love to you and your family,
Andrea