Heparin Medical Malpractice

Heparin is a blood thinner and anticoagulant medication used to prevent blood clots.  But if wrongfully prescribed or administered, it can cost you your limbs and your life.

Heparin Medical Malpractice Attorneys

Heparin is the most widely used anticoagulant, blood thinning medication in the world today. Anticoagulants are used to prevent and treat blood clots. Medical experts commonly refer to Heparin as the cornerstone drug of all cardiology and cardiothoracic surgery. Since the clinical inception of Heparin in 1935, cardiology surgeons have been frequently working with Heparin as a treatment and preventative to blood clots.[1][2] In the United States, approximately twelve million individuals or one-third of all hospital patients have exposure to Heparin.[3] When using Heparin as a treatment, it is essential that cardiologists and cardiac surgeons have a working awareness of their practice and discipline of the use of Heparin. While Heparin can have an incredible impact on the treatment of cardiac patient, the improper or delayed use of Heparin can lead to serious complications known as Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT).

What is Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT)?

While a patient is undergoing Heparin therapy, if their blood platelet levels are not properly monitored, they could start undergoing complications referred to as Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia (HIT). Medical professionals diagnose HIP when the patient begins to show a significant decrease in platelet count, typically falling below 50% of the baseline count. This decrease in platelets leads to blood clots that block your blood vessels potentially leading to serious and fatal medical complications.[4] There are two types of HIT: Type 1 becomes apparent within two days after exposure to Heparin; Type 2 occurs four-to-ten days after exposure to Heparin and more often can lead to life and limb-threatening complications. HIT Type 2 can creates many issues because patients may develop HIT after they have been discharged from the hospital.

What is difficult about diagnosing HIP is that unlike other forms of thrombocytopenia, HIT is not marked by bleeding. When a patient is diagnosed with HIT, treatment generally entails discontinuation of Heparin, and the prescription of alternative anticoagulant therapy; however, there may be complications that treatment will not be able to prevent. HIT can lead to complications such as stroke, deep venous thrombosis, myocardial infarction and limb ischemia.[5] HIT complications are fatal in around 29% of patients, and an additional 21% must undergo limb amputations.[6]

What to Do If You Believe That You Developed HIT Because of Medical Errors? 

If you believe that you have developed HIT because of medical negligence or improper prescription of Heparin, you may be entitled to recover damages. To prove that your health care provider negligently caused your injuries, you must determine whether they breached their professional standard of care. Professional standard of care is determined by expert testimony in most cases. As stated earlier, HIT may be difficult to diagnose and your provider may not be able to catch it before it’s too late.  Thus, having a qualified expert carefully reviewing the medical records to determine whether the care of the physician or hospital fell below the standard is crucial in determining whether you have a case.

If you are able to prove that you or a loved one developed HIT due to the medical negligence or improper prescription, administration or monitoring of Heparin by a health care professional, you may be entitled to recover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, lost earnings, loss of consortium and more. If a loved one passes way as a result of complications from HIT, you may also be entitled to recover wrongful death damages.

If you or a loved one have suffered severe injuries such as an amputation or stroke; or have had a loved one pass away due to complications from Heparin-induced Thrombocytopenia, our attorneys may be able to help. We have successfully handled these cases in the past and have the legal and expert support to win your case.

Contact our dedicated Tampa Bay Heparin Medical Malpractice attorneys at PERENICH Law Injury Attorneys today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation.

Let our experience work for you.


[1]  DEPOSITION of BRUCE CHARASH, M.D.; 1 Exp. Wit. 7350, 1998 Depo. Trans. LEXIS 7925

[2] Oduah, Eziafa I et al. “Heparin: Past, Present, and Future.” Pharmaceuticals (Basel, Switzerland) vol. 9,3 38. 4 Jul. 2016, doi:10.3390/ph9030038

[3] Sancar Eke, MD. “Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia.” Practice Essentials, Pathophysiology, Etiology, Medscape, 15 June 2021, emedicine.medscape.com/article/1357846-overview#a1.

[4] “Thrombosis.” Johns Hopkins Medicine, www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/thrombosis.

[5] Sancar Eke, MD. “Heparin-Induced Thrombocytopenia.” Practice Essentials, Pathophysiology, Etiology, Medscape, 15 June 2021, emedicine.medscape.com/article/1357846-overview#a1.

[6] King DJ, Kelton JG. Heparin-associated thrombocytopenia. Ann Intern Med. 1984 Apr. 100(4):535-40. [Medline].