According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is a major public health problem in the United States. Estimates suggest that 300,000 to 600,000 Americans develop a pulmonary embolism each year, and that 60,000 to 100,000 people die as a result. However, certain outside factors may increase the rate in which this life-threatening condition occurs. Women who use Yaz (generic: drospirenone & ethinyl estradiol) for a prolonged period of time may significantly increase their risk of developing a pulmonary embolism.
If you or a loved one has suffered from a pulmonary embolism after taking Yaz, 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.
Yaz Pulmonary Embolism Lawsuit Overview
As a product of the world renown Bayer Healthcare company, Yaz was developed approximately six years ago. In conjunction with its release, on March 16, 2006, Yaz was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent pregnancy in women who choose the method of oral contraception. Indications on Yaz labels also suggest that the popular birth control pill can alleviate moderate acne and symptoms associated with premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
As a fourth generation contraceptive, Yaz utilizes an active ingredient known as drospirenone. Drospirenone is a progestin that has the inherent ability to alter the conditions in the cervical and uterine lining, therefore preventing the ovulation process in women. By suppressing what are known as gonadotropins, drospirenone inhibits ovulation by altering the cervical mucus (which increases the difficulty of sperm entry into the uterus) and the endometrium (which reduces the likelihood of implantation). When taken as directed, Yaz has shown a 99% success rate in preventing pregnancy.
Unfortunately, the outcome of a recent FDA Advisory Committee has acknowledged that drospirenone-containing contraceptives such as Yaz may elevate potassium levels too much. The presence of heightened potassium levels may increase the risk of developing a blood clot in a large vein. If this should happen, part of the clot may break off and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism and, possibly, death. Due to the severe nature of this complication, women may contact a lawyer at The Senators (Ret.) Firm, LLP for a free case evaluation regarding their potential Yaz pulmonary embolism lawsuit.
According to recent studies, Yaz may increase the risk of a woman experiencing a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolisms are characterized by a blockage in one or more arteries in the lungs. Often times, pulmonary embolisms are caused by a blood clot in the veins that fractures and travels to the lungs. The resulting blockage may prevent a sufficient amount of oxygenated blood from being circulated throughout the body. Therefore, a pulmonary embolism may starve vital organs of oxygen and ultimately lead to severe complications. The following are potential adverse events that may coincide with a Yaz pulmonary embolism:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Venous thromboembolism (VTE)
- Cerebrovascular accidents (CVA)
- Heart attack
- Myocardial infraction
- Gallbladder complications
Common signs and symptoms include sudden and unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain and a cough that may bring up blood-tinged sputum.
FDA Safety Communication
According to an FDA Safety Communication, the agency is aware of two newly published studies that evaluated the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in women who use birth control pills that contain drospirenone. The two recently published studies looked at whether there is a higher risk of blood clots in women taking birth control pills containing the progestin drospirenone when compared to similar women taking birth control pills containing a different progestin called levonorgestrel. These two new studies reported that there is a greater risk of VTE associated with birth control pills that contain drospirenone. Unfortunately, the presence of a severe VTE may lead to life-threatening complications, one of which is pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary Embolism Treatment
Prompt treatment of a pulmonary embolism is critical to prevent the development of serious complications or death. Certain medications, such as anticoagulants and clot dissolvers, may be administered. However some cases may witness a doctor preform one of the following procedures to treat the condition:
- Clot removal: If shock is induced from a large clot in the lungs, doctors may thread a thin flexible tube (catheter) through the blood vessels and suction out the clot. It can be difficult to remove a clot this way, and this procedure isn’t always successful.
- Vein filter: A catheter can also be used to place a filter in the main vein — called the inferior vena cava — that leads from your legs to the right side of your heart. This filter catches and stops blood clots moving through the blood stream toward your lungs. Filter insertion is typically reserved for people who can’t take anticoagulant drugs or when anticoagulant drugs don’t work well enough.
- Surgery: If you’re in shock and thrombolytic medication isn’t working quickly enough, your doctor might attempt emergency surgery. This happens infrequently, and the goal is to remove as many blood clots as possible, especially if there’s a large clot in your main (central) pulmonary artery.
Yaz Pulmonary Embolism Lawsuit
Bayer has become the target of a Yaz pulmonary embolism lawsuit that was filed on May 10. The plaintiff, mother of 18 year old Michelle Pfleger who died from a pulmonary embolism, alleges that Bayer’s Yaz birth control was the cause of her daughters death. At the time of her death Michelle was using Yaz to control her acne.
Michelle was a student at Elon University in North Carolina where she was on her way to attend class when she collapsed due to cardiovascular complications. Doctors diagnosed the adverse event as a cardiac arrest that occurred when a blood clot entered the girls lungs, inevitably causing a dramatic decrease in blood pressure that eventually killed her. As a result, the mother of the New Jersey teen alleges that her daughters death was caused by the side effects of Yaz.
Fourth Generation Contraceptives
The following fourth generation contraceptives contain drospirenone and may also significantly increase the risk of pulmonary embolism:
Do I Have a Yaz Pulmonary Embolism 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 Yaz pulmonary embolism lawsuits. We are currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.
Again, if you or a loved one has suffered from a pulmonary embolism after taking Yaz, 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.