Patients suffering from certain heart or circulatory problems are often prescribed with a medication called warfarin— Coumadin is the brand name associated with this drug. Coumadin helps prevent conditions such as blood clots, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism by thinning the blood and making it more difficult to clot.
There is a drawback to thinning the blood, however, and that is an elevated risk of bleeding which cannot be controlled. Due to this risk, patients on warfarin are required to undergo regular testing in order to detect any abnormalities and adjust the patients’ treatment plans accordingly.
PT/INR testing determines the amount of time that it takes for the blood to clot, which allows physicians to determine whether a patient is at risk of experiencing unexplained bleeding or internal bleeding that may result when the blood is unable to clot following an injury such as a blow to a part of the body or a fall. It is recommended that patients taking Coumadin be tested every four to six weeks, but they may be tested more frequently. These tests are proven to reduce the number of Coumadin related fatalities by over 39%, making it imperative that nursing facilities test patients using the drug on a regular basis.
Possible Complications Related To Heightened Pt
The most concerning complication of Coumadin use is hemorrhaging caused by the inability of the blood to clot. This is associated with an increased risk of stroke, uncontrolled bleeding during or following surgery and life threatening bleeding following an injury such as a fall or a blow to the head. Studies have shown conclusively that patients on warfarin are twice as likely to die following an injury as those not taking the drug. The risks associated with the medication grow more severe over time and prolonged use and it may react with certain nutritional supplements or other prescription drugs.
It is important that nursing staff be aware of the possible complications when caring for a patient on Coumadin and if the patient suffers severe complications or injuries due to the failure of staff to properly monitor the patient’s blood, the facility may be held liable. It is inexcusable for patients to go untested when PT/INR testing is associated with such a dramatic decrease in fatal events. By holding nursing homes accountable, we can ensure that future patients receive the attention and preventative measures needed to keep them safe and healthy.
If your loved one has suffered complications due to a lack of PT/INR testing, contact the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today to arrange a free consultation with an attorney. We will happily review the details of your case with you, perform a thorough investigation and advise you on your legal options moving forward. Because our lawyers work on a contingency basis, you will never be required to pay a dime upfront and we will only collect payment when we are able to collect damages on your behalf.