(410) 677-4985 (Office) |  (443) 365-7290 (Cell)

30 Years of Medical Malpractice Experience

Included in the Top 100 Trial Lawyers of The National Trial Lawyers

Anticoagulant Errors

The anticoagulant Warfarin remains one of the most frequently prescribed medications in the United States. It appears on the Institute for Safe Medication Practices list of high-alert medications because over- or under-anticoagulation has significant consequences for the patient. In addition, medication errors that lead to adverse drug events may be more common with warfarin because it has many drug-drug and drug-food interactions, and there is a need for increased INR monitoring. (The INR, or international normalized ratio, is used to check if you have a blood clotting problem.)
Wright B, Medication Errors in Adults-Case #1: Warfarin. Patientcareonline.com. 2013.

How Do Doctors Over or Under Anticoagulate Patients?

Doctors can over-anticoagulate or under-anticoagulate a patient when the anticoagulant is improperly administered, withheld, or discontinued during hospitalization, see image. For example, a doctor may stop an anticoagulant when a bleeding patient enters the hospital, even though the patient takes the drug to prevent atrial fibrillation and brain hemorrhage. Likewise, a doctor may decide not to prescribe an anti-coagulant for a patient even though the patient has a clear indication for the drug. Or a doctor may fail to monitor a patient who takes the medication for signs of excessive bleeding. Finally, a doctor may discontinue an anticoagulant for an injured patient out of concern for the risk of bleeding, even though there is also a high risk of a stroke.


warfarin sodium - Drug Summary

Warfarin can cause major or fatal bleeding. Warfarin is contraindicated in patients with conditions in which therapy with warfarin may result in uncontrolled bleeding including hematological disease; GI bleeding, genitourinary bleeding, respiratory tract bleeding, retinal bleeding, or intracranial bleeding; head trauma; hemorrhagic stroke; aneurysm; aortic dissection; pericarditis or pericardial effusion; bacterial endocarditis; threatened abortion; eclampsia and preeclampsia; recent or planned surgery of the central nervous system, eye, or following trauma that results in large open surfaces; diagnostic or therapeutic procedures with potential for uncontrolled bleeding including epidural anesthesia, spinal anesthesia, spinal puncture and lumbar puncture; and malignant hypertension.


If you have experienced a Medication Error in Wicomico, Worcester, Talbot, and Queen Anne’s County, MD, don’t hesitate to Contact Us

Medical Advice Disclaimer

The contents of this website do not provide medical advice. The information provided, including any images, drawings etc., are for general informational purposes only. This information is not intended, nor should it be considered, as an alternative to the advice of a qualified healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of a qualified healthcare professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation and never disregard and/or delay seeking such advice because of something you read on this website. The links contained on this website that lead to external sites are provided for convenience only and are not sponsored, endorsed, or approved by the Law Offices of Christopher J. Russo, Jr.

Legal Advice Disclaimer

The contents of this website are provided for informational purposes only, do not constitute legal advice and do not create an attorney-client relationship. The contents of any e-mails sent to the email address listed on this website or the contents of any contact forms sent from the Contact Page on this website do not create an attorney-client relationship and will not be treated as confidential. The Law Offices of Christopher J. Russo, Jr. do not warrant the accuracy of any information found on external sites.