Patient Killed by Single Dose of Pradaxa

In April 2012, the Journal of Clinical Toxicology published a report of a 92-year-old patient who died after taking Pradaxa for only one day.  Pradaxa (dabigatran) is a blood thinner that has been associated with a high risk of internal bleeding that could be fatal.

In the report, published by Dr. Leah Kernan of the Fort Hood, Texas Army Medical Center and Dr. Farshad Shirazi and Keith Bosen, Pharm.D., both from University of Arizona College of Pharmacy, doctors state that the patient was given Pradaxa to prevent blood clots due to atrial fibrillation.  The patient took his first 150 mg dose before bedtime, and awakened with profuse rectal bleeding.  He was transported to the ER and resuscitated, but required intubation and multiple units of blood before he finally died six days after his admission to the hospital.

The authors of the report made a number of recommendations to other doctors who may need to save a patient who has succumbed to a Pradaxa internal bleed, such as the use of vasopressive agents, bleeding site repair, dialysis, blood products, and possible administration of recombinant activated factor VIIa or activated prothrombin complex concentrate.  The authors went on to speculate that it’s possible the patient developed toxically high levels of Pradaxa in his system after a possible drug interaction or unknown kidney problems.  In conclusion, the authors stated, “In older patients who have renal insufficiency, there is a potential for gastrointestinal bleed; the advantage over warfarin does not outweigh the risk of fatal bleeding and coadministration should be avoided with p-glycoprotein inhibitors.”

A number of drug safety advocates have pushed to have Pradaxa removed from the market since late 2011, when the first alarms about fatal bleeding due to Pradaxa were sounded.

A number of victims of Pradaxa internal bleeding or their survivors have filed Pradaxa lawsuits to recover compensation from Boehringer Ingelheim, the maker of the drug.  In these suits, lawyers allege:

  • Pradaxa is unreasonably dangerous
  • Benefits of Pradaxa or Coumadin (warfarin) do not outweigh the serious risks associated with this medication
  • Boehringer Ingelheim has promoted unsafe dosages of the medication
  • There are safer alternatives to Pradaxa

Contact a Pradaxa Lawyer

If you or someone you love has suffered from Pradaxa internal bleeding, you may be able to collect significant compensation in a dangerous drug lawsuit.  For more information on how you can protect your legal rights, contact an experienced pharmaceutical product liability lawyer today.

Oct. 4, 2012 | Tags: Dangerous Drugs, Pradaxa

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