With antidotes now available for Pradaxa, Eliquis and Xarelto why are patients continuing to die from uncontrollable bleeding while on blood thinners? The answer unfortunately is that the antidote is expensive and hospitals are worried that they won’t get reimbursed for the cost of saving lives!
Millions of Americans are on blood thinners (anticoagulants) in order to prevent heart attacks and strokes. These medications can be life-saving. If you are one of the 2.7 million Americans who have atrial fibrillation you have an increased risk of stroke. You can reduce the risk by 50%-60% by taking a blood thinner.
Is Reversal of Anticoagulant Necessary?
A risk of blood thinners, however, is that if you start bleeding it can be very difficult to stop and bleeding on a blood thinner can result in death. Additionally, if you need emergency surgery it cannot be performed if you are on Xarelto (rivaroxaban) or Eliquis (apixaban). This can result in permanent injury or death.
In the past physicians regularly prescribed Coumadin or Warfarin (Vitamin K antagonists). Coumadin interacts with certain drugs and foods that make it less effective and so it’s effects must be routinely monitored through blood tests. If a patient bleeds while on a Vitamin K antagonist, the bleeding can be reversed by giving vitamin K1. Immediate reversal is achieved with a prothrombin complex concentrate (PCC) and fresh frozen plasma (FFP).
Xarelto and Eliquis Reversal Agent Stops Bleeding
The newer anticoagulants referred to as NOACS (novel oral anticoagulants) or DOACS (directly acting oral anticoagulants) such as Xarelto and Eliquis cannot be reversed through traditional methods. Recently the FDA approved a reversal agent for Xarelto and Eliquis. Physicians and patients have long awaited a rivaroxaban and apixaban reversal agent as many deaths have resulted from uncontrolled bleeding while on these blood thinners and there was simply nothing that could be done.
Anticoagulant Reversal Agent Availability
We have recently learned, however, that even though this blood thinner antidote has been available since the beginning of the year, many hospitals have opted not to purchase it due to it’s cost. This means that people are dying needlessly. Prescribing doctors believe that if their patients go to the ER with a bleed they will be saved and patients feel safe taking these medications believing that they can be reversed but that is not the case! Hospitals must step up and act responsibly and carry this life-saving medication. If they fail to do so they can be held responsible for the lives that are lost.
Showard Law Firm is now accepting cases where patients have suffered catastrophic injury after suffering a bleed on Xarelto or Eliquis. Contact Showard Law Firm for a free consultation.