But mistakes occur in hospitals. One of the largest areas of hospital mistakes leading to successfully litigated medical malpractice lawsuits are errors in patient medication. Research in the Annals of Pharmacotherapy states that blood thinner medications account for 7% of medication errors in hospitalizations.
Blood thinners are used to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke. Blood thinners prevent the development of blood clots in arteries and veins.
There are two types of blood thinner medications: anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs.
Anticoagulants extend the time it takes for a blood clot to form. Antiplatelet drugs prevent platelets from grouping together. Examples of anticoagulants and antiplatelets are Plavix, Xarelto, Coumadin (generically known as warfarin) and the drug class known as heparin.
Blood thinners are implicated in complications caused by excessive bleeding. These events include intracranial hemorrhages, large drops in hemoglobin, and bleeding that requires medical intervention or even transfusion, as well as bleeding that brings on a cardiac event, and death due to bleeding.
The research particularly cautions health care providers to know the health history of the patients and to increase monitoring of patients on blood thinner medications.
If you believe you or a loved one has suffered due to an error in medication or any other medical errors, please contact us at Turner and Turner.