Daily treatment with Pradaxa® (generic name: dabigatran etexilate) for non-valvular atrial fibrillation can go on for months, years, or the rest of one's life. Unfortunately, treatment with this controversial anticoagulant has many potential side effects, including upper gastrointestinal hemorrhage and other types of hemorrhage.
What Is a Hemorrhage?
A hemorrhage is a loss of blood; it can be internal or external, such as when you bleed from a wound. There are several levels of hemorrhage:
- Class I = the loss of up to 15 percent of a person's blood volume. A healthy person can lose up to 15 percent of his or her blood without serious problems.
- Class II = losing 15–30 percent of total blood volume; signs such as pale, unusually cool skin start to appear.
- Class III = 30–40 percent of total blood volume is lost. Blood pressure drops, the heart rate increases, and shock is a risk. The person may show unusual behavior.
- Class IV = Over 40 percent of total blood is lost. Aggressive medical treatment is necessary to prevent death.
Acute (i.e., sudden and severe) hemorrhagic gastritis accounts for roughly one-fourth of the cases of upper gastrointestinal bleeding each year in the U.S.
Symptoms of Hemorrhage
In addition to symptoms listed above (e.g., pale and cool skin, unusual behavior, increased heart rate), a person who is suffering from an internal hemorrhage (for example, a gastrointestinal [GI] bleed) may feel awful, dizzy and nauseous since the blood released by the hemorrhage can compress internal organs and hinder their functioning. An untreated hemorrhage can cause shock, brain damage and death.
What to Do about a Hemorrhage
The best option for a Pradaxa® (dabigatran) patient who suspects that he or she is experiencing an internal hemorrhage or observes external hemorrhaging (e.g., severe nosebleed, bleeding from the gums, extreme amounts of menstrual bleeding) is: get immediate medical care.
If you or someone you love has suffered hemorrhaging as a result of taking Pradaxa®, you may be eligible to seek financial compensation for your suffering. For more information, schedule a free case review with a qualified Pradaxa® attorney today.