Aprotinin Boosts Risk of Death: Study

Aprotinin, a drug often used to prevent blood loss during heart surgery, boosts the risk of death by 50 percent, a major clinical study find, confirming preliminary data.

Germany’s Bayer makes the drug, known by the brand name Trasylol, and temporarily took it off the market in October 2007, on advice of an independent Data Safety and Monitoring Board which detected a trend toward increased mortality in one arm of the triple-blinded study.

“The trial, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that approximately six per cent of patients who received aprotinin died within 30 days of surgery compared to four per cent of patients who received tranexamic acid or aminocaproic acid,” the authors saqid in a statement.

China Confirms First Virus Deaths

BEIJING ~ China confirmed on Wednesday the first two deaths in Beijing from hand, foot and mouth disease, bringing the national death toll to 42 children, state media reported, citing health officials.

One child from Beijing, host of this year’s Olympics, died on Sunday, the Xinhua news agency said citing city health department spokeswoman Deng Xiaohong.

Another child, from Hebei, also died in the capital after being transferred from the northern province for medical treatment, the report said. Most of the deaths have involved enterovirus 71, or EV71, which can lead to acute hand, foot and mouth disease and has been identified by China as a key factor in the severity of the outbreak.

S. Korea Steps up Bird Flu Fight

SEOUL ~ South Korea is to disinfect all poultry farms nationwide to combat its worst outbreak of bird flu, the Agriculture Ministry said this week.

In the capital Seoul, all 15,000 chickens, ducks and other fowl – including pet birds in school aviaries – have been culled after a second case of the potentially deadly H5N1 virus was confirmed there.

Nationwide, more than 6.8 million chickens and ducks have been slaughtered since the latest outbreak began around April 1. But the ministry has reported 40 cases of bird flu at 31 places nationwide.

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