The NBA team the Miami Heat may once again find themselves short one of their stars if physicians believe that Chris Bosh shouldn’t return to the court.
Bosh was recently pulled out of a game because of concern for a potential blood clot. This isn’t the first time that he has had a scare because of a clot – in 2015, he was taken to the hospital with shortness of breath and chest pains. Doctors determined at that time that he had a pulmonary embolism – a blood clot in the lung. Due to his medical condition, he missed the rest of the season. Doctors placed Bosh on blood thinners for several months before he was weaned off.
It is possible, if he has once again formed a dangerous clot, that they may place him on blood thinners for a second time.
Of the thousands of lawsuits filed against Bayer AG and Johnson & Johnson regarding the blood thinner Xarelto, many of the plaintiffs are fans of Chris Bosh. They are hoping that his physicians won’t place him on Xarelto because they believe that the drug harms more than it helps.
Xarelto is a new blood thinner that has only been available in the United States since 2011. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the drug for the treatment of clotting disorders, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), atrial fibrillation, and for patients who were at risk for forming blood clots after knee and hip replacement surgeries.
As the manufacturers heavily advertised, this blood thinner was different from the older versions. With Xarelto, all patients are given the same dosages. Other drugs, such as Warfarin, require patients to frequently recheck the clotting factors in their blood to determine if the dosage needs adjusting. Patients and doctors were thrilled that they would no longer have to carefully monitor the blood.
The drug was prescribed to people throughout the country. But what the public was generally unaware of, was that Xarelto has some very dangerous side effects.
The Search For An Antidote
One of the most dangerous aspects of the drug is that it has no known antidote. This means that if uncontrollable bleeding occurs, the blood doesn’t clot appropriately because there is no way to reverse the effects of the drug. Older blood thinners can be reversed by administering Vitamin K, this, however, does not work on Xarelto. If a patient is in danger of losing too much blood, doctors are forced to perform blood transfusions. In some cases, even this treatment isn’t enough to keep the patient from bleeding out and dying.
Other plaintiffs have reported that they suffered from pulmonary embolisms, gastrointestinal bleeding, brain hemorrhage, stroke, spinal bleeding, or liver dysfunction after they began taking the drug.
The FDA has issued not just one, but two, black box warnings. The first indicates that patients who discontinue the drug too quickly are at increased risk for blood clot formation and the second informed those who may be undergoing spinal procedures, that if they are on Xarelto, they are at risk for a spinal bleed.
So many lawsuits have been filed, each one alleging that Xarelto caused the plaintiff or the loved one of a plaintiff serious harm, that the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated all federally filed lawsuits in December of 2014. The purpose of the consolidation was to avoid duplicate discovery and save all parties involved both time and money.
Several pre-trial orders have been announced, including order 15A, which orders the preservation of emails, text messages, and instant messages. As these cases await trial, the litigation is expected to grow.
Plaintiffs are hoping to recover compensation for the money they have spent on medical treatments and for the pain and suffering they have experienced. They also hope that by raising awareness, they can prevent others, like Chris Bosh, from experiencing the trauma that they have.