Can a lawsuit be filed for injury resulting from coumadin prescribed by a doctor?


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Question:

Can a lawsuit be filed for injury resulting from coumadin prescribed by a doctor?

Answer:

A medical malpractice lawsuit could be an option, but the viability of this kind of case will turn on the very specific facts and the particular treatment scenario that led to the patient’s harm.  

As background, Coumadin is a popular anti-coagulant medication that, like almost all prescription drugs, comes with some real health risks. It is most often prescribed for use as an anticoagulant, to prevent thrombosis and abnormal formation and migration of blood clots.

The correct dosing of Coumadin is complicated by the fact that it reacts with many other commonly-used medications and even common chemicals present in certain foods. When Coumadin is paired with such medications and food chemicals, the result can radically enhance or reduce the effect of the Coumadin, producing dangerous side effects such as severe hemorrhaging, or failure to prevent clot migration to a vital organ. 

Because of the risks associated with Coumadin, health care professionals are under a legal obligation to properly monitor patients’ use of the drug. Failure to properly monitor Coumadin use may amount to medical malpractice, but liability is not an open-and-shut proposition.

As with any medical malpractice case, the key will be showing that the doctor failed to provide treatment in accordance with the medical standard of care. In almost every medical malpractice case, establishing that standard -- and showing exactly how the defendant failed to meet the standard in treating the patient -- requires the testimony of a qualified expert medical witness.

by: , J.D.

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