Bovine thrombin is sometimes used during surgery to control bleeding. This medication uses cow blood; it is a clotting agent that allows blood to clot more easily so that patients don’t bleed excessively and possibly die on the operating table.
This medication causes an unusual immune system reaction in some patients. This can cause symptoms similar to lupus and other immune system disorders after surgery. If bovine thrombin is used during several surgeries, patients have a greater risk of developing an immune system disorder. For this reason, doctors should only use bovine thrombin during emergency surgery, when clotting is needed immediately in order to save the person’s life.