Researchers at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas found that a large number of patients who suffer from myocardial infarction (MI) are being discharged on high-dose aspirin, despite being at high risk for bleeding. An article in MedPage Today reports that in over 200,000 patients in the U.S., 60.9% of the patients with acute MI were given high-dose aspirin (325 mg). This goes against current guidelines warning of the dangers of high-dose aspirin for those at risk for bleeding.
Researchers also found that a majority of coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) patients received low-dose aspirin when current guidelines suggest high-dose aspirin is necessary. This variability in both instances suggests a need for better education regarding the appropriate use of aspirin.
Aspirin is widely used as treatment for secondary prevention after heart attacks. There is a large degree of variability across the US as to which dose is appropriate in various situations. There is concern of increasing bleeding injuries in patients who have been prescribed high-dose aspirin. With this added risk, the researchers found no added benefit in efficacy and thus advocate low-dose aspirin.
The authors of the study suggested that a substantial gap still exists between recommended guidelines and actual practice. They call for the addition of aspirin treatments to hospital quality reports in order to quickly align practice with the leading guidelines. This would be expected to have a favorable impact on protecting MI patients from bleeding complications.
When medical practitioners fail to follow proven and established medical guidelines, patients may be at risk. Lopez McHugh attorneys have a long history of evaluating medical negligence cases. If you or a loved one suffered an injury as a result of medical negligence, contact us at (877) 737-8525 for a free, confidential consultation.