Blood Thinner Errors | Medical Malpractice Attorneys
Frischman & Rizza

blood thinner
Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Pennsylvania

Contact Frischman & Rizza Today
Pennsylvania blood thinner medical malpractice attorneys Frischman & Rizza

Blood Thinner Injury Lawsuits

Anticoagulation medications such as Coumadin are prescribed to prevent several different maladies caused by blood clots. These include strokes, heart attacks, and chronic blood clots known as DVTs (deep vein thrombosis). Patients who undergo hip and knee replacement surgeries are frequently given Coumadin to prevent postoperative blood clot formation. 

Also, patients with coronary artery stents, prosthetic heart valves, and heart rhythm abnormalities (cardiac arrhythmia) are given Coumadin to prevent thrombosis and thromboembolism, conditions that can result in a stroke or heart attack.

Blood thinners can cause serious injuries when prescribed incorrectly. Too little of the drug will not adequately protect a patient from blood clot formation. Too much of the drug can cause internal bleeding or death. As a result, patients who take them are required to undergo regular blood testing to ensure that the amount in the bloodstream remains at proper “therapeutic” levels (International Normalized Ratio test results between 2.0 and 3.0).

It must also be remembered that even when a patient is in the proper “therapeutic” range, it can be difficult to control bleeding from small cuts and bruises. As a result, it is recommended that patients taking Coumadin be careful to avoid injuries and refrain from using razor blades and other sharp objects as severe bleeding may occur.

Quick Facts about Blood Thinners for Blood Clots and Internal Bleeding

A blood-thinning medication is prescribed to people who have “thick” blood which may clot easily and cause a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A DVT can easily travel within the bloodstream and lead to such conditions as a pulmonary embolism, an often fatal issue. These types of medications are frequently accompanied by bleeding complications and major bleeding problems if the patient is cut.

Here are some important facts about blood-thinning medications that all patients should know:

 

  • Blood thinners, such as Coumadin (Warfarin Sodium), are prescribed to prevent blood clots in people with “thick” blood.
  • Blood thinners make patients susceptible to severe bleeding if they are cut.
  • When this type of prescription blood-thinning drug is prescribed, the patient must undergo regular blood tests to ensure that proper “therapeutic” amounts of the drug remain in the bloodstream.
  • If a patient is below “therapeutic” levels, they will not be protected from blood clot formation.
  • If a patient is above “therapeutic” levels, they could develop life-threatening internal bleeding.
  • Coumadin is derived from a chemical found in sweet clover. Ranchers discovered that the cattle that grazed on this plant were prone to developing internal bleeding.
  • Coumadin was first introduced in the 1940s as a poison to control rat and mouse populations.
  • Coumadin was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a prescription medication in 1954.
  • The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) named the blood thinner Coumadin as the #1 most likely drug to send you to the hospital, especially because of severe bleeding risks.
  • Remember B.E.S.T. as an easy way to fit blood thinner medication into daily life.
  • Be Careful
  • Eat Right
  • Stick to a Routine
  • Test Regularly

 

 

If you have been prescribed a blood thinner such as Coumadin, you may have bleeding risks and should consult with your doctor often about these issues.

Have you been injured?

Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Attorney at Frischman & Rizza for a free case evaluation.

Call Us Today!

(412) 291-9377

Blood Testing

Patients who take blood thinners like Coumadin must be closely monitored by means of an INR blood test. In general, patients should fall between 2.0 and 3.0 on the scale, but some high-risk patients require a higher “therapeutic” range between 2.5 and 3.5.

When a person has first prescribed Coumadin, they receive INR testing every several days to ascertain the dosages required to maintain the proper “therapeutic” range.  Based upon several different factors, the patient may be required to take different doses of Coumadin at different times of the day until a stable therapeutic range is determined.  After the patient is considered stable, they continue to require INR blood tests every 4-6 weeks.

Continued monitoring is important because changes in diet, weight and physical activity can take a person out of their “therapeutic” range.  In addition, several medications, health supplements, and foods can alter the effectiveness of Coumadin. If your medical professional does not monitor or apply these tests properly, you may experience blood thinner medical malpractice.

Medical Malpractice – Blood Thinner Lawsuit

When a patient falls outside the recommended “therapeutic” range, profound injuries can occur as well as mounting medical bills. These include irreversible organ damage, heart attack, stroke, and even death. Proper monitoring and International Normalized Ratio blood testing are the primary keys to avoiding these devastating complications.