A new study published in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience highlights the substantial problem of emergency surgery for individuals taking Pradaxa (dabigatran). Pradaxa’s effect, acting as an anticoagulant, cannot be rapidly reversed in order to perform emergency surgery, causing uncontrollable bleeding.
The study identifies the pros and cons of Pradaxa, weighing the usefulness of this drug, marketed as a better alternative to Warfarin, against its severe risks. Determining that the risks of Pradaxa are great, the authors conclude, “It is only a matter of time before we see case reports of irreversible bleeding during dabigatran-treated surgical emergencies and urgent attention must be paid to the provision of an effective, rapidly acting antidote. Surely it is irresponsible of any pharmaceutical company to release such a drug into the market and promote it extensively as a potential life-saving replacement for existing therapies without fully detailing the very real risk of irreversible hemorrhagic complications following trauma or at emergency surgery, no matter how small the numbers at such risk may be. These patients cannot be regarded simply as collateral damage.”