Blood Thinner Errors:
Warfarin sodium – The general name for blood thinners, such as COUMADIN. Blood thinners are prescribed to treat blood clots and to reduce the chance of blood clots from forming. Blood clots can cause a stroke, heart attack, or serious conditions. Blood thinners are also commonly prescribed for atrial fibrillation, a common heart condition, that can cause a stroke.
All Too Common:
While they may be common, blood thinners are very powerful with little room for error. This is why careful monitoring of a patient’s clotting level by means of a simple test known as an INR test is essential to maintaining the patient on a therapeutic level. If the patient’s INR level is too high, the patient is at risk for suffering a catastrophic bleed. Conversely, if the patient’s INR level is too low, the patient remains at risk for clot formation.
Because of their inherent risks, AARP named blood thinners – specifically Coumadin – as the #1 drug most likely to send you to the hospital. The failure to properly maintain the patient at a therapeutic level is a common cause of medical malpractice.