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H.Res. 279 (112th): Raising awareness of the risk of internal bleeding for patients taking anti-coagulant drugs.

The text of the resolution below is as of May 25, 2011 (Introduced).



1st Session

H. RES. 279


May 25, 2011

submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce


Raising awareness of the risk of internal bleeding for patients taking anti-coagulant drugs.

Whereas, on January 12, 2010, Shannon Elizabeth Mudd, of Mt. Sterling, Kentucky, was taking anticoagulant drugs for deep vein thrombosis when she fell and hit her head;

Whereas a lack of awareness about internal bleeding risks associated with anticoagulant medications resulted in Shannon not receiving appropriate emergency medical care at the time of her injury, which led to her slipping into a coma, and her eventual untimely passing weeks before her 18th birthday;

Whereas, had there been better awareness of the risks associated with internal bleeding, Shannon might have received more comprehensive treatment after her fall, thereby preventing the coma and her premature death;

Whereas anticoagulant medications, also known as blood thinners, successfully treat a number of serious medical conditions like deep vein thrombosis, chest pain, and post-surgical blood clots, which could result in very serious medical complications;

Whereas there is a severe risk of bleeding associated with minor injuries for patients who receive anticoagulant medications;

Whereas the characteristics that make anticoagulant medications effective in treating serious conditions are the same characteristics that make them dangerous when patients are not adequately aware of their risks;

Whereas many leading patient safety organizations, such as the Institute for Safe Medication Practices, the Institute of Healthcare Improvement, the Joint Commission, and the United States Pharmacopeia recognize anticoagulant drugs as high risk medications for the purposes of warning patients about risk of death associated with their use; and

Whereas many patients are well aware of the risk of external bleeding associated with anticoagulants, yet there remains a critical need to inform patients and increase public awareness of the risk of death associated with internal bleeding and brain hemorrhaging: Now, therefore, be it

That the House of Representatives—


recognizes the benefit of anticoagulants for serious health conditions;


acknowledges the dangers posed to patients from anticoagulant medications and the risk of internal and external bleeding;


seeks to raise public awareness of the risk of death associated with these medications; and


encourages pharmaceutical manufacturers and health care providers to properly communicate the risk of death associated with coagulant drugs with their patients, in order to prevent future tragedies.