Kay Van Wey
The family of a Texas woman recently filed a lawsuit against Boehringer Ingelheim, the maker of Pradaxa, claiming that their mother died due to Pradaxa internal bleeding. They are also claiming that Boehringer Ingelheim failed to adequately warn doctors and patients that the drug lacked an antidote to stop internal bleeding.
A Fatal Fall—Pradaxa Internal Bleeding Difficult to Stop
The woman named in the lawsuit was taking Pradaxa for atrial fibrillation, a heart condition that can lead to strokes if not treated. She had been on Coumadin, also known as Warfarin, a blood thinner that doctors and patients do not like because of the need for frequent blood tests, but was later put on Pradaxa. After a fall caused an injury to the woman’s head, she suffered an intracranial hemorrhage that the doctors could not stop.
Had the woman still been taking Warfarin, the doctors could have used a variety of agents to stop the bleeding, which ultimately could have saved the woman’s life. But Pradaxa has no antidote, and eventually the blood pooled in the woman’s brain. The lack of an antidote for Pradaxa internal bleeding is worrisome to doctors, especially those who deal with even minor trauma patients.
Pradaxa Internal Bleeding is More Dangerous
More than two million Americans have atrial fibrillation, and that number is expected to grow to 12 million by 2050. In general, older Americans tend to suffer with atrial fibrillation and tend to suffer more injuries in minor falls.
Nearly 1.1 million prescriptions for Pradaxa were filled between the drug’s debut in October 2010 and August 2011. But just more than a year after being on the market, Pradaxa was linked to causing an estimated 260 deaths. Doctors saw patients with minor injuries from cuts or falls resulting in massive internal bleeding due to Pradaxa.
Warfarin Internal Bleeding is Reversible
Because Pradaxa has no antidote, doctors can do little to reverse the massive internal bleeding that can occur in patients. While emergency dialysis is an option, for many patients the treatment comes too late to save lives. As Dr. Bryan Cotton of Houston says, “The ability to perform rapid dialysis in patients with bleeding whose condition is unstable or in those with large intracranial hemorrhages will present an incredible challenge, even at level 1 trauma centers.”
And even though Warfarin requires extensive blood testing to get the dosage correct, the patient is also being monitored while on the blood thinner. But perhaps more importantly, Warfarin has known antidotes that work. With Warfarin, patients who experience internal bleeding can be given vitamin K, prothrombin complex concentrates (PCCs), or fresh frozen plasma.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries or death due to Pradaxa internal bleeding, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Dallas Pradaxa attorney Kay L. Van Wey knows how to take on the pharmaceutical industry and may be able to help you with your claim. Call Van Wey Law today at (214) 329-1350 or (800) 489-5082 for a free initial consultation.
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