A new study says a drug used during the most common kind of heart surgery may lead to unnecessary deaths from blood clots.
Hundreds of thousands of people have coronary artery bypass surgery every year.
Doctors use drugs to lessen a patient's bleeding during the procedure.
One of those drugs is called aprotinin.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association says the drug may lead to deadly blood clots.
“The major findings of the study are that aprotinin, one of three medications that we tested, was unsafe. That it was associated with increased death over five years following the surgery,” explains Dr. Dennis Mangano, Ischemia Research and Education Foundation.
Doctor Mangano says patients who have had the surgery should find out if they received aprotinin.
He says if they did their doctors need to monitor them for potential blood clots.
Aprotinin is made by Bayer.
The drug maker has responded to the study, saying it should not affect use of aprotinin.
Bayer says it will work with experts to learn more about the drug's effects.