Tranexamic Acid Catastrophic Drug Errors During Spinal Anesthesia

Numerous studies have shown that medical errors are the third leading cause of death in America. Medication errors alone are responsible for thousands of deaths each year. Medication errors can cause adverse effects or catastrophic injuries.

In a recent FDA warning, tranexamic acid has been administered to patients via the spinal column, causing horrific reactions. The Weitz Firm, LLC knows all too well the devastation a careless and preventable mistake has on a family. Our dedicated attorneys have earned a reputation as one of the most successful boutique medical malpractice firms in Philadelphia. If a medical professional’s negligent acts have injured you or someone you love, call our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys today.

Three Cases of Tranexamic Acid used instead of Local Anesthetic Reported

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) is warning other medical professionals of the dangers of administering the wrong drug. Three cases have come to light where tranexamic acid was issued instead of an anesthetic.

In one case, an anesthesiologist administered tranexamic acid to a patient instead of bupivacaine, a localized anesthetic, before knee surgery. Despite the anesthesiologists quickly realizing the mistake, the patient experienced seizures.

In another case, a patient was due to have hip replacement surgery. The patient was to receive a local anesthetic for spinal anesthesia and instead received tranexamic acid. The patient also experienced seizures paired with extreme pain.

In the last case, the patient who received tranexamic acid by mistake experienced seizures to the point she was placed in an induced coma for several days. The patient was also supposed to be given bupivacaine before her bilateral knee replacement.

The Institute for Safe Medication Practices has warned that;

  • Both drugs are packaged in vials with the same blue color cap
  • The vials are different sizes. However, because they are stored upright, it can be difficult to tell the drugs apart without reading the label
  • Though scanning drugs before administering has become a popular way of preventing human error, not all medical facilities are equipped with that capability

When patients are given tranexamic acid via the spinal cord, it is highly harmful to patients.

  • It has a 50% mortality rate
  • Those that live experience permanent neurological injuries, paraplegia, seizures, and ventricular fibrillation (deadly heart rhythm that can trigger a heart attack.)

The Importance of Drug Administration and Human Error

Medication errors are a prevalent concern. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality;

  • 700,000 emergency room visits are due to drug-related injuries
  • 100,00 people are hospitalized
  • 5% of already hospitalized patients will suffer adverse drug effects
  • 50% are estimated to be preventable

Every patient is entitled to be treated with care and attention to detail. With higher-level training, medical professionals need to be held accountable for such preventable mistakes.

Why The Weitz Firm, LLC

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania’s medical malpractice trial attorneys have cultivated a reputation for holding doctors accountable for their actions. Medical professionals have a legal obligation to act with a specific duty of care. If you or a loved one has suffered injuries related to a negligent, reckless, or incompetent medical provider, call your Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer at The Weitz Firm, LLC. Contact us for a free consultation of your case by clicking here or calling 267-587-6240.



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