Ms. Doe, 70, suffered from atrial fibrillation and had two mechanical heart valves. She was prescribed Coumadin to prevent a stroke. When Dr. Roe, her treating cardiologist, recommended elective replacement of her pacemaker battery, the Coumadin was stopped five days before the procedure. It was then restarted after the surgery.
Dr. Roe placed Ms. Doe on Bactrim to prevent infection and ordered an INR test, which is the international normalized ratio blood test. The test showed a result of 3.2 – more than double the previous INR taken before the procedure. Dr. Roe allegedly ordered a repeat INR for one month later. The INR blood test tells a patient how long it takes for blood to clot. A test called prothrombin time (PT) measures how quickly the blood clots in the body.
Before the repeat INR test, Ms. Doe was taken to the hospital ER suffering from anemia. Her INR at the time was 22.8. While at the hospital, Ms. Doe coded several times and died the next day.