Blood Thinners May Be Causing Injuries and Deaths in Nursing Homes

CHICAGO. When blood thinners are prescribed, doctors often walk a fine line in finding the right dose. Blood thinner medication can help protect patients who are at risk of having a stroke. However, too much blood thinner medication can result in potentially dangerous bleeding, while a dose that is too small can limit the medication’s effectiveness. Furthermore, the medication has the potential to interact poorly with certain foods, requiring patients who are on the drugs to be carefully monitored for diet. Because the patients who use blood thinner medication tend to be elderly, people using this medicine may be under the care of nursing homes. According to the Washington Post, as many as 1 in 6 of nursing home patients may be on blood thinners.

However, according to the Washington Post, when nursing homes neglect to monitor their patient’s medication doses, the results can lead to serious injury and even death. According to a recent ProPublica investigation of inspection reports, between the years of 2011 and 2014, 165 nursing home residents had to be hospitalized or died after receiving the wrong dose of Coumadin or wayfarin, two popular blood thinners. Many physicians say that patients on blood thinners need to be closely monitored because it is very easy to get the dose wrong. A double dose in a day or a missed dose can have serious negative consequences.

In some cases, nursing homes may not monitor patients’ prescriptions to ensure that dangerous drug interactions don’t take place. Other patients suffer when nursing homes fail to give them the medicine that they need. Inspections have found some errors before they led to dangerous situations, but for some residents, the inspections come too late. According to the American Journal of Medicine, as many as 34,000 nursing home residents may suffer adverse affects from taking blood thinners each year.

Patients who take blood thinners may need to undergo regular blood tests. When nursing homes fail to ensure that this happens, patients can experience problems. Patients may suffer internal bleeding or have to undergo surgery for blood clots. Others may suffer strokes and heart attacks if their doses are not properly calibrated. If your loved one has been hospitalized due to improper nursing home management of his or her blood thinning medication, you and your family may be entitled to receive compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. The Dinizulu Law Group, Ltd. in Chicago are nursing home abuse lawyers who work closely with families to help them seek justice if their loved ones have been hurt.

Part of the problem with some nursing home facilities is that nurses and care staff may not always know a patient’s medical history. This can lead to situations where staff may notice bruising—a warning sign of bleeding—but still may not take action.

Often families are the first line of defense for loved ones when nursing homes are neglectful of their residents. If your loved one has suffered from nursing home neglect, visit www.dinizululawgroup.com today to learn more about how to protect your rights and raise awareness.