I had a lovely elderly patient who was on Plavix for his coronary stent. His doctor told him NEVER to stop taking the Plavix or his stent would block with clot. Well, he was admitted to my ICU for pneumonia and was on CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure – a machine that assist with breathing) all week.
The day of admission, his nurse went over all his medications from home. She made his list and the doctor signed it. She called Plavix by its generic name, clopidogrel. When she gave him all his medications the following day, he asked what each one was. He never heard her say Plavix, so he called his wife on his cell phone and told her to bring his Plavix dose every day.
A little over a week later, I was his nurse. I gave him all his medications in the morning. When his wife came to visit, I noticed that she gave him something and he had a drink afterwards. When I questioned them, she told me! Yes, it was his Plavix from home! Sure enough, he was double-dosed for 10 days because we called his drug by the generic name and he only knew it by the trade name! So who was wrong? Bad news! He had a gastrointestinal bleed that admission.
Ellen Richter, RN
Coconut Beach, Florida