Gadolinium Lawsuits

Gadolinium is a silvery-white heavy metal – the chemical element of atomic number 64. It has many uses, but one of the most common is as a contrast agent for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and other scans. In 2013, a study caused controversy over gadolinium. The study found that MRI processes may deposit gadolinium into the brain, possibly causing gadolinium toxicity and related health problems. If you or a loved one has noticed health issues after receiving the contrast dye gadolinium for a scan, contact the Boston attorneys at Sweeney Merrigan Law LLP. You could be eligible for compensation.

The Risks of Gadolinium

Consumers deserve to understand the potential risks that can stem from gadolinium contrast dye used in MRIs and other medical imaging systems. To achieve clear images, physicians inject patients with contrast dyes. The Food and Drug Administration approved gadolinium (generic name gadodiamide) for this purpose. In 2006, however, the FDA released two public health advisories concerning gadolinium, stating that the dyes could cause two rare diseases: nephrogenic fibrosing dermopathy (NFD) or nephrogenic systemic fibrosis (NSF).

The first FDA warning came after 25 reported cases of these diseases came from two hospitals in Europe, after patients received injections of Omniscan (a generic contrast dye containing gadolinium) over a period of four years. In 2007, the FDA issued a stronger black box warning for gadolinium-based contrast dyes and other products. The warning urged consumers and health care practitioners to be aware of a potentially fatal gadolinium side effect involving liver and kidney problems.

The FDA made a safety announcement in December 2017 requiring new warnings and clear safety measures for gadolinium-based contrast dyes. The administration stated that gadolinium may remain in patients’ bodies and brains for months or years after the medical scan. The FDA mandated that health care facilities provide patients with new information regarding this possibility, as well as choose candidates more carefully based on risk for gadolinium retention (pregnant women, children, etc.). This most recent FDA warning on gadolinium has sparked lawsuits.

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Gadolinium Toxicity?

A gadolinium-based contrast agent might have negatively affected you or a loved one if a physician has diagnosed you with NFD or NSF after you received the injection for an MRI, x-ray, or other medical imaging scans. These rare diseases are most commonly connected to gadolinium toxicity and retention. The odds that gadolinium caused these diseases is somewhat high and deserving of a legal consultation.

Symptoms of these two diseases can include:

  • Kidney problems
  • Kidney failure
  • Heart and blood vessel disease
  • Malnutrition
  • Anemia
  • Nerve damage
  • Weakened bones
  • Swelling or thickening skin
  • Inhibited joint movement
  • Painful muscle/joint contractions
  • Muscle weakness
  • Burning or itching skin
  • Reddened or darkened patches of skin

Unfortunately, no consistently effective treatment exists for NFD or NSF. These diseases can be permanent and fatal for patients. Despite the FDA warnings and concerning diseases connected to gadolinium, contrast dyes containing the heavy metal are still on the market and in use by hospitals around the world. Contact our personal injury lawyers if you believe you’ve suffered ill effects from gadolinium retention in your system.

When Should I Call a Boston Personal Injury Attorney?

The health risks and side effects of retaining gadolinium in the body and/or brain are severe. Patients could suffer serious or fatal kidney problems, as well as swelling of the extremities and limited mobility. The internal organs could also sustain long-lasting or permanent damage. Hundreds of consumers are currently bringing lawsuits and class action suits against manufacturers of gadolinium dyes and other products for failing to warn consumers of potential risks. If you have the right to join these lawsuits, you could receive thousands of dollars in financial compensation. Contact Sweeney Merrigan Law LLP for more information.