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Dialysis Tubing Recall Issued

May 27, 1998

LAKEWOOD, Colo. (AP) _ Gambro Healthcare Inc. estimates it will recall only about 2,000 sets of dialysis tubing blamed for causing dozens of illnesses in three states and perhaps two deaths.

Earlier this week, some 9,000 to 15,000 sets were to be recalled.

``The number of defective lines is very small and very localized,″ said John Chappell, Gambro’s vice president of quality and regulatory affairs.

Potentially defective tubing sets were shipped to 31 clinics across the nation. The sets, manufactured last month at Gambro’s plant in Tijuana, Mexico, channel blood between patients and dialysis machines.

Two patients died in Maryland and illnesses were reported at clinics in Nebraska, Maryland and Massachusetts. Some clinics were temporarily closed.

``We want those (clinics) that are affected to take quick action to get the product quarantined and sent back to us,″ Chappell said Tuesday.

At the Dialysis Center in Lincoln, Neb., those seeking dialysis treatment returned for the first time since the scare closed it down. There were cakes, balloons and banners saying, ``We love our patients.″

``After you come to a place like this for 2 1/2 years these people become more than just nurses, they’re your friends,″ Bob Scott said as he received his first treatment at the center in days.

About 260,000 Americans undergo dialysis, which removes waste products from the body because their kidneys don’t work.

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