KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Misuse Of Blood Thinners In Dialysis Patients Reported

Reuters/ABC News reports on research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that examined the misuse of two blood thinners – Lovenox and Integrilin – in "about 20 percent of kidney dialysis patients who undergo a procedure to open a blocked artery [who] are given the wrong blood clot medicine, increasing the chances of significant bleeding, researchers said Tuesday. They said the findings suggest many doctors in the United States ignore warnings on drug labels, often putting patients at risk of serious harm or death."  The two drugs "are not recommended for use in kidney dialysis patients" (Wilson, 12/8).

U.S. News and World Report/HealthDay: "According to [study author Dr. Thomas] Tsai, this particular type of medicating error may stem from the simple fact that there are so many possible medications for physicians to choose from now. ... Ease of use and convenience may also play a role in doctors' turning to these particular drugs, Tsai said. Meanwhile, the population of people undergoing dialysis is also exploding, and is projected to pass the 2 million mark worldwide by 2010, according to the study" (Gardner, 12/8).

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