NBC--Contamination of some recalled heparin products has now been found in eleven countries, including the U.S., and Food and Drug Administration officials say a single contaminant appears to be to blame.
Heparin is a blood thinning drug often used before surgery. Many heparin products have been recalled because of a possible link to hundreds of allergic reactions and some deaths in patients who'd been given the blood thinner.
The FDA has identified the contaminant as "over-sulfated chondroitin sulfate." Officials said they have test tube and animal data that indicate the contaminant could trigger such severe reactions.
FDA officials also said they've found the contaminant in batches from 12 different chinese companies. Those companies were mainly involved in supplying the active ingredient in heparin to other manufacturers.
Chinese health officials said they are skeptical about the link to companies in their country, and planned to visit U.S. based Baxter International, Inc., which has recalled most of its heparin products.