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Misuse of anticoagulant could be medical malpractice

Many people use certain drugs to help maintain their safety and create a higher quality of life. Drugs such as Coumadin, an anticoagulant used for those with certain heart issues connected to blood clots, has likely saved many lives. However, medical malpractice regarding the drug could potentially harm some patients in Wisconsin.

There is the potential for serious complications for patients if they are not properly monitored while taking Coumadin or if the drug is not given as prescribed. For example, one man was prescribed the medication because an abnormal heart rhythm increased his chances of a stroke, and reports indicate that he was not properly monitored, which led to uncontrollable bleeding. After being taken to the hospital covered in bruises and bleeding from his gums, he was never able to recover. On the other hand, one woman was not given the medications for over 50 days following a surgery. The resulting blood clot reportedly caused a great deal of damage.

Some reports indicate that these examples are not isolated incidents. A study published in 2007 reportedly revealed that there are 34,000 life-threatening or fatal events related to the drug each year. Despite the frequency of such events, issues with properly administering and monitoring patients taking it receive relatively little scrutiny. In fact, infractions typically result in no more than instructions to create a plan to prevent future mistakes.

A medical malpractice lawsuit is one way to bring attention to such a serious issue. In addition to potentially helping others, a successfully presented case could result in an award of damages to help with medical expenses, pain and suffering and lost wages stemming from negligence. If the mistake was fatal, an award could include damages to cover funeral expenses as well. The aftermath of such a mistake is often demanding and an award ordered by a Wisconsin civil court could help in the recovery process.

Source: desmoinesregister.com, "Blood thinner causing deaths, injuries at nursing homes", Charles Ornstein, July 14, 2015

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