The plaintiff estate alleged against our client, a cardiologist, that Coumadin should have been prescribed to the 72 year old patient who developed intermittent, and later chronic, atrial fibrillation, following mitral valve replacement surgery. The patient was instead treated with Coumadin for five months after the valve surgery, then switched to anitplatelet therapy in various forms.
In January 2003 the patient suffered a small stroke, and in August 2004, she suffered a major stroke, and died 10 months later.
Plaintiff claimed these strokes were cardioembolic in origin, and would have been prevented by Coumadin therapy.
DBMS demonstrated that the risks of Coumadin therapy to this patient were quite substantial, based upon her history of vertigo, prior falls, GI bleeding while on Coumadin, and wide INR fluctuations while on the drug, and that antiplatelet therapy was a reasonable alternative to reduce the risk of cardioembolic stroke while also reducing the risk of other types of stroke as well.
Defendant also produced evidence that neither of the patient's strokes were cardioembolic, and that they were instead caused by diabetic micro and macrovasculopathy. The plaintiff requested $750,000 in damages.
The jury deliberated less than one hour before returning not guilty verdict.