Charity Lifeblood has called on doctors to use blood-thinning drug Pradaxa (dabigatran etexilate) on a regular basis so as to avoid unnecessary deaths from fatal blood clots.
"The prevention of blood clots with blood thinners after surgery is not done well in the UK," said Lifeblood's medical director, Dr Beverley Hunt. "The need for and potential impact of a generally well-tolerated oral anticoagulant that does not require monitoring is profound."
AdvertisementPradaxa is the first blood-thinner to hit the markets since Warfarin was released in 1950s. Most patients of knee and hip surgery are likely to suffer from fatal blood clots and with no preventive measures in place, they often succumb to them.
It is estimated that over 25,000 patients die from blood clots in Britain each year.
Pradaxa is a once-daily tablet and is initially proposed to be used for hip and knee replacement surgery. This is because such patients are immobile for days together and are at an increased risk of blood clots.
Judy O'Sullivan, cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation welcomed the introduction of Pradaxa, "We look forward to seeing how Pradaxa may benefit patients who have had orthopaedic surgery and hope that it will prove to be useful for a wider group of patients," she added.
Pradaxa costs £4.20 a day.