Med-Card Scenario 1

One Story Where Our Medication Card Saved a Life

Norman hit his head on the door of his pickup.  Within a few days his neighbor noticed he was acting strangely, walking with a limp, and unable to form words.  The first thought was that he had a stroke.  He was immediately taken to the local hospital where a CT scan revealed a subdural hematoma, which is a collection of blood within the cranium that was putting pressure on his brain.  The local hospital was not equipped to deal with neurosurgery, so Life Flight transported Norman to a major medical center.  

When Normal arrived in the Emergency Room or ER, medical personnel searched his wallet to get his ID and insurance card.  Here they found a medication card and noted that he was taking Apixaban, also known as Eliquis.  Eliquis is a blood thinner that has many advantages over the traditional blood thinner Coumadin (also known as Warfarin).  But Eliquis has no antidote to ‘reverse’ its action against the formation of blood clots [whereas coumadin can be quickly reversed with vitamin K, and fresh frozen plasma (FFP) when circumstances are life threatening.

Because the ER nurse found Eliquis on Norman’s medication card, surgery was delayed for three days in order to allow for the medication to get out of his system.  A craniotomy was performed and the hematoma was removed.  The good news is that Norman is healthy and back to walking his dog every day.  However, if surgery had been performed immediately, as is the standard of care in that situation, Norman most likely would have died on the operating table due to uncontrollable bleeding.  This is an actual example of how a medication card saved life.