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Consumer Reports

Heart surgery drug could risk a patient's life | (UPI) New research suggests a drug commonly administered to patients after coronary artery bypass surgery creates more negative side effects than previously thought.

Although Protamine has been used for more than 40 years to return a patient's blood to normal thickness after surgery, a study by Duke University researchers found it causes small blood pressure changes.

Almost a fifth of subjects experienced blood pressure drops of 20 percent or more within 30 minutes of receiving protamine.

These changes, they said, are associated with increased mortality.

The researchers said, however, they did not advocate changing use of the drug but a search for alternatives.

Protamine currently is the only drug available that counteracts heparin, the powerful anti-coagulant used during surgery.

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