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Deaths and Injuries in Nursing Homes Linked to Blood Thinner

  Alan Fuchsberg  |  July 17, 2015  |  

Blood thinners are used to decrease the risk of stroke in some patients. However, when it’s not monitored carefully, injuries or deaths can result. For example, if too much Coumadin—a popular blood thinner—is given to a patient, then he or she might bleed uncontrollably. If too little is given, then clots can form that can be life-threatening.

Between 2011 and 2014, 165 nursing home residents—at least that many—died or required hospitalization after medication errors involving either Coumadin or warfarin, which is the generic medication for Coumadin. This number is provided by government inspection reports that ProPublica analyzed. However, it’s possible, according to some studies, that there were really thousands of more patients that were injured because of the drug.

Nursing Home Negligence Regarding Blood Thinners

Learning that nursing homes have been negligent in the care of their residents is not really anything new. Advocates, government officials, and researchers have been worried about how many elderly patients have been given too much antipsychotic medications that can increase the risk of falls.

However, the overuse of Coumadin hasn’t received as much attention. Part of the reason why is that the drug does have benefits. Unfortunately, when its use is not monitored correctly, some nursing home residents have suffered greatly. Others have died much sooner than they should have.

A study in the American Journal of Medicine done 2007 found that residents of nursing homes prescribed Coumadin suffer 34,000 serious, life-threatening or fatal events each year.

If you or a loved one in the New York area have suffered such an event because of the use of Coumadin or warfarin, it’s important to speak up. Nursing home residents have specific rights and those rights must be protected. In many cases, compensation may be sought by nursing home residents or their families for injuries or deaths suffered because of medication errors or negligent medical care. An attorney can give you additional information on how a civil lawsuit can be pursued; we invite you to contact our law firm with any questions you may have.

Data Source: The Washington Post, “Popular blood thinner causing deaths, injuries in nursing homes,” Charles Ornstein, July 12, 2015

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