Cardiac Bypass Surgery; A Guide to the Use and Side Effects of Trasylol

Cardiac bypass surgery is one of the most life threatening of surgeries to be performed. However, the impact of a non-surgical approach may create a greater risk for death than the surgery itself. During surgery, the physician will closely monitor for excessive blood loss and the requirement for a blood transfusion. Because of health risks involved with transfusions, an injectable, Trasylol, was developed to control excessive blood loss during and after surgery. For these surgery patients, when discussing surgery risks and complications, discuss the use of the FDA approved injectable, Trasylol, versus the possible implications of a blood transfusion. With appropriate dosing, monitoring of contraindications and knowledge of side effects, Trasylol may provide the solution to prevent excessive blood loss and may improve the post-surgical recovery period.

Trasylol, a product of Bayer, was designed as an injectable to prevent excessive blood loss during heart surgery. As an antifibronolytic agent, it was approved by the FDA in 1993 and remains on the market. Recent studies, including an alert by the FDA in Febuary of 2006, indicate the drug may have a direct coorelation to an increased risk of other cardiovascular events such as heart failure, stroke, renal failure or coma.

Dosing of Trasylol injectable is based on a single IV administration at the time of surgery. Your physician will determine the appropriate time for dosing following a physical pre-operative examination. Due to Trasylol’s impact on the renal and cardiovascular systems, individuals suffering from renal or multiple cardiac disorders may be monitored more closely or may not be a candidate for Trasylol surgery use. Additionally, it is recommended that, as a pre-cautionary measure, an epinephrine injection be made available should an anaphylactic reaction occur.

Trasylol, when utilized during cardiac bypass surgery, does not come without side effects. However, most side effects will dissipate in the days following surgery. The most common complaints of dizziness, shortness of breath, increased heart rate, nausea and vomiting, skin irritation, groin pain or swelling in various extremeties are common. In rare cases, complications associated with kidney failure, increased risk of stroke and heart attack may ensue. Some patients may even develop more serious cardiac complications but this is noted to be a rare occurrence.

As with most surgeries, there are contraindications to use of Trasylol. The injection, at present, is a classified Category B drug for pregnancy meaning it is unknown what impact the injection may have on a human fetus. However, in laboratory animal studies, no impact was noted. If pregnant, it is recommended that Trasylol not be used due to the lack of information with regard to pregnancy outcomes. Additionally, if you suffer from prior heart conditions, are allergic to any medications or have kidney disease, your doctor should be well informed of the risk factors involved with the use of Trasylol versus another method of monitoring and controlling blood loss during surgery.

As with any disease, prevention is the key to maintaining good health. Maintaining proper cardiac health, including blood pressure, may decrease the odds of requiring cardiac bypass surgery later in life. Understanding the conditions which precipitate a cardiac bypass may be your best key for prevention. Because the risk of untreated cardiac conditons vary from patient to patient, the option for cardiac bypass should be carefully considered. When surgery is inevitable, consider all options for blood loss control including injectables such as Trasylol in lieu of a blood transfusion.

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