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Saturday, January 27, 2007

Stent Safety & Blood Clots: Medical devices

The new drug-coated stents are much more likely to create blood clots than are the older bare metal stents. That is a conclusion of a synthesis of 14 studies, reported at the Cleveland Clinic in the December 2006 issue of the American Journal of Medicine. The increased risk of blood clotting (thrombosis) is associated with an increased risk of heart attack and death. The two FDA approved drug eluting (emitting) stents are Johnson & Johnson’s Cypher Stent (which emits sirolimus) and Boston Scientific’s Taxus Stent (which emits paclitaxel).

The researchers recommend that patients with Johnson & Johnson Cypher stents should take anti-clotting drugs for two to three months following implantation, and those patients with the Boston Scientific Taxus stents should take anti-clotting drugs for six months or more following implantation. Anti-clotting or anti-platelet drugs such as Plavix (clopidogrel) and aspirin are often prescribed after the stent procedure.

Advice for patients, their friends and advocates: Ask your doctor what kind of stent you have, and what this "meta-analysis" means you should do.

Read one of our stories about a medical device error or read more about this from our source at Parker & Waichman.

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