Nuvaring Lawsuit Settlements
Currently there have been no Nuvaring lawsuit settlements and cases continue to be filed by women. Nuvaring side effects involving a pulmonary embolism is caused by a blood clot that arrives in your lungs after forming elsewhere in your body. Most cases of PE are triggered by clots that develop within the deep veins of your legs (known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT). They break away from the vein’s wall, or break off from a larger clot, and travel into your inferior vena cava (IVC).
The IVC is a large blood vessel that begins in your abdomen from the merger of the common iliac veins. It ascends to your heart, and drains into the right atrium (i.e. upper chamber). Migrating blood clots can travel through this vein, enter your heart, and be pumped into your pulmonary arteries. There, they can obstruct blood flow to your lungs, and cause a PE.
Some cases of pulmonary embolism are mild, and do not cause noticeable symptoms. Other cases are severe, and can lead to the patient’s death. Doctors consider the condition to be a medical emergency because of the risk of extensive lung damage and mortality. Treatment usually begins with anticoagulants (blood thinners) and thrombolytic drugs (clot-busters).
Heparin And Warfarin
Heparin and warfarin are anticoagulant medications. They help prevent existing clots from growing larger and new clots from forming – both are priorities with a pulmonary embolism. Heparin is usually given intravenously, and begins to work immediately. Dosage is continuous through an IV.
During clot formation, an enzyme called thrombin interacts with fibrinogen, and causes it to convert into fibrin. Fibrin is a protein that forms a cross-linked net over a platelet plug. It is an essential factor in your body’s clotting process. Heparin inhibits thrombin, which slows the conversion of fibrinogen into fibrin. This slows the rate of coagulation.
Warfarin is given in pill form, and begins to take effect two or three days after the start of therapy. Unlike heparin, it does not directly target your body’s thrombin system. Instead, it targets vitamin K. This vitamin is responsible for the production of several important coagulation proteins, including prothrombin. This latter protein is the precursor of thrombin, which, as mentioned, interacts with fibrinogen.
Warfarin inhibits the production of vitamin K, and thus reduces the production of prothrombin. This in turn limits the availability of thrombin.
With a pulmonary embolism, your doctor will likely give you both heparin and warfarin at the same time. If the blockage in your arteries is nonmassive, your doctor may give you low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) instead of unfractionated heparin (UFH). The former is preferred since it can be delivered through injection on an out-patient basis. It also requires less monitoring. When warfarin begins to take effect, LMWH or UFH is stopped.
Tissue Plasminogen Activators And Streptokinase
Thrombolytic drugs dissolve clots. They do so by interacting with an enzyme called plasminogen, an inactive precursor of plasmin. Plasmin cuts through fibrin strands, and causes them to break down. As they do, the protective net over the platelet plug deteriorates, which helps to restore blood flow through the blocked artery.
There are three main classes of thrombolytic drugs: tissue plasminogen activators (tPAs), urokinase, and streptokinase. Each class produces the same result, but does so through a slightly different mechanism. Though urokinase is occasionally given to treat a PE, therapy usually involves tPAs or streptokinase.
The Risk Of Using Anticoagulation And Thrombolytic Drugs
Anticoagulants and thrombolytic medications pose a serious risk of hemorrhage. The risk is lower with anticoagulants, which is why doctors are inclined to begin therapy with them. “Clot-busting” drugs are typically reserved for cases where the patient’s pulmonary function is unstable due to a large thrombus. Many doctors feel that though the efficacy of these medications is high, their use may not warrant the risk of bleeding. If the patient is suffering a massive pulmonary embolism, and anticoagulants are inadequate, surgery may be necessary.
The severity of Nuvaring blood clot problems depends on the extent of the blockage, and the time that passes before treatment is administered. If you have suffered from deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, or other dangerous Nuvaring side effects, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. Contact a Nuvaring lawsuit settlements attorney to discuss your options.