Gastrointestinal bleeding is the result of an existing complication rather than a disease itself. As the name suggests, this condition is characterized by the internal hemorrhaging of blood in the digestive tract. While relatively common, gastrointestinal bleeding is responsible for approximately 300,000 hospitalizations a year in the United States. However, the introduction of Plavix, an anti-platelet medication, may increase the risk of experiencing such adverse events. Patients who receive Plavix treatment may significantly increase their risk of developing gastrointestinal bleeding.
If you or a loved one has suffered from gastrointestinal bleeding after using Plavix, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free confidential case evaluation. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.
Plavix Gastrointestinal Bleeding Lawsuit Overview
Plavix, a product of pharmaceutical industry pioneer Sanofi Aventis, is a unique medication that assists in the prevention of adverse cardiac events such as heart attack and stroke. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), approved the use of Plavix for such circumstances on November 17, 1997. After having been on the U.S. market for over 14 years, nearly 115 million prescriptions have been written to help Americans avoid having a second heart attack.
According to a distinct mechanism of action, Plavix is considered an anti-platelet drug of the ADP antagonist (thienopyridines) category. As an anti-platelet medication, Plavix has the inherent ability to prevent the aggregation of platelets that could potentially inhibit the flow of blood through an artery. In doing so, Plavix irreversibly inhibits a specific protein found on the surface of blood platelets that is responsible for the regulation of blood clots. By preventing specific actions taken by this protein, Plavix may halt the aggregation of platelets and reduce the risk of unnecessary blood clots. Subsequently, Plavix may significantly lower the risk of heart attack or stroke.
Unfortunately, the pharmacodynamics of Plavix may also be responsible for a variety of debilitating conditions with varying degrees of severity. Subsequently, gastrointestinal bleeding has recently been associated with the use of Plavix. By demonstrating an ability to interfere with the coagulative ability of blood, Plavix may increase the risk of severe bleeding. Medical practitioners are referring to such adverse events as Plavix gastrointestinal bleeding.
Gastrointestinal bleeding, otherwise known as gastrointestinal hemorrhage, describes every form of hemorrhage in the gastrointestinal tract, from the pharynx to the rectum. It has diverse causes and is generally distinguished between upper and lower gastrointestinal bleeding, depending on where the bleeding is taking place. The degree of bleeding can range from nearly undetectable to acute, massive, life-threatening bleeding. Due to the ambiguous and often severe nature of this condition, patients may contact a lawyer at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP for a free case evaluation of their potential Plavix gastrointestinal bleeding lawsuit.
Gastrointestinal Bleeding Side effects
Acute gastrointestinal bleeding may result in the vomiting of blood, bloody bowel movements, or black, tarry stool. However, the following is a list of symptoms that have commonly been associated with gastrointestinal bleeding:
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Pale appearance
Gastrointestinal Bleeding Complications
Regardless of where bleeding takes place on the digestive tract, complications are directly correlated to the rate and volume of blood displaced. Patients who have experienced slow or minimal blood loss may only exhibit abdominal discomfort, and bleeding may not be detected until blood tests show the patient has low hemoglobin.
However, severe displacement may result in hypovolemic shock. If enough blood is lost, the circulatory system will be unable to transport oxygen to the rest of the body because of the lack of red blood cells. Subsequently, the inadequate flow of blood may result in shock, and potential death. Gastrointestinal bleeding may also result in the following complications:
- Anemia (low red blood cell count)
- Spread of cancer
- Spread of infection
- Need for blood transfusion
Gastrointestinal Bleeding Treatment
The following is a comprehensive list of treatments used to correct Plavix gastrointestinal bleeding:
- Endoscopic thermal probe: assists in the coaguation of blood and abnormal tissue to prevent further bleeding issues.
- Argon plasma coagulation and radiofrequency ablation: a procedure used to assist in the treatment of abnormal blood vessels in the stomach, small intestine and colon.
- Endoscopic clips: synthetic clips used to close a bleeding vessel or other defective tissue.
- Endoscopic band ligation: technique that uses special rubber bands to treat bleeding hemorrhoids and bleeding vessels in the esophagus.
- Endoscopic cryotherapy: freezes abnormal blood vessels in the stomach.
- Endoscopic intravariceal cyanoacrylate injection: uses a special glue to treat difficult breathing from abnormal blood vessels in the stomach.
- Angiographic embolization: injects particles directly into the blood vessel to stop bleeding.
Do I Have a Plavix Gastrointestinal Bleeding Lawsuit?
The trial lawyers at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP have decades of experience navigating through complex legislative and regulatory issues and litigating high stakes cases all over the nation. Our law firm focuses on the representation of plaintiffs in Plavix gastrointestinal bleeding lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has suffered from gastrointestinal bleeding after using Plavix, you should contact our lawyers immediately by clicking the link below or calling toll free 1-(949) 557-5800. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and we can help.