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Blood-thinning drugs are prescribed primarily to preventing blood clots that cause strokes and heart attacks. They can be life-saving. However, many blood-thinners also come with dangerous side effects leaving patients at risk of potentially-fatal health problems. Doctors and pharmacists need to monitor patients taking blood-thinners for unsafe drug interactions, incorrect dosages, and risky side effects.
Xarelto, Eliquis, and Pradaxa are among the most common anti-coagulant medications prescribed to prevent blood clots that can cause strokes and heart attacks. People with atrial fibrillation or abnormal heart rate that creates pooled blood in the heart are usually prescribed some type of non-vitamin K oral anticoagulants (NOACs).
When prescribed correctly, NOACs can be life-saving. However, when combined with certain other medications, NOACs lose some of their effectiveness. That leaves patients at risk for dangerous blood clots. In other cases, NOAC drug interactions can cause life-threatening bleeding in other parts of the body, including the brain.
Blood thinners can also cause patients to find blood in their urine, a symptom that often lands patients in the hospital for unnecessary tests or invasive procedures. Professor of Surgery at Sunnybrook Health Services in Toronto, Dr. Robert Nam, studied medical data on 2.5 million Canadians, more than 800,000 of them having been prescribed common blood-thinners.
According to Nam’s research, patients taking blood-thinners were six to ten times more likely to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized after finding blood in their urine than other patients. Blood in urine should always be investigated, yet as a side effect of taking blood-thinning medication, it is not a dangerous side effect in itself.
Doctors are expected to provide patients with a certain standard of care. When they endanger patients by ordering the wrong medication, prescribing the incorrect dosage, overlooking dangerous drug interactions, or failing to disclose possible side effects, medical malpractice may be involved.
Medical malpractice is often challenging to prove. First, the patient needs to prove their physician failed to provide the standard level of care another professional with the same experience and training would have provided. Next, they need to show they were injured or harmed by their doctor’s mistake or poor level of care. In some cases, a hospital or pharmacy can also be liable for medication errors. Because these cases are so complex, victims injured by medication errors are advised to seek the counsel of an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.
Without care and vigilance, medications designed to save our lives can seriously harm us. The risks of commonly-prescribed blood-thinners are well-researched and documented. Doctors are expected to know the risks of prescribing drugs like Pradaxa, Xarelto, and Eliquis, and consider if they are safe for each patient. They should advise patients about the potential side effects and risks of drug interactions.
To discuss whether you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries resulting from a medical mistake, schedule a free consultation with a skilled Cherry Hill medical malpractice lawyer today. Contact us online call Folkman Law Offices, P.C. at 856-354-9444. We have offices in South Jersey, Philadelphia, and King of Prussia to serve clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.