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Medical malpractice related to use of popular prescription drug

Because doctors have a better understanding of how the human body works and how certain drugs interact, some people are living longer, healthier lives. Coumadin, an anticoagulant prescribed to many patients with certain blood clot risks, is one of the discoveries that have helped. However, medical care providers in Massachusetts who fail to properly monitor a patient taking the drug or administer the drug when necessary could cause serious harm. Many people, mainly elderly in a nursing home, have suffered from such medical malpractice.

Coumadin can be enormously beneficial. However, failing to test a person's blood while on the drug can result in a patient to bleed to death. Certain antibiotics can also increase the effects of the drug. On the other hand, failing to administer the drug could result in the formation of lethal blood clots.

The drug, or its generic version, is widely used. Some records indicate that 2.4 million people participating the government's Medicare Part D program filled a prescription. Despite its widespread use and potential for harm, some claim that cases involving misuse or improper monitoring do not receive adequate scrutiny. A 2007 study revealed that there are over 34,000 serious events involving the drugs in nursing homes each year. However, while nursing homes may receive a fine as a result of issues with failing to administer or monitor the drug, they often only receive an admonishment to do better.

Unfortunately, mistakes regarding the use of Coumadin and other similar drugs are harming patients in Massachusetts. Many times, medical malpractice involving the drug leads to a fatality. Those who have suffered as a result of the drug could potentially bring attention to a problem that many have faced.

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

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