Can a lawsuit be filed for injury resulting from coumadin prescribed by a doctor?
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
by: David Goguen, J.D.