One side effect of Yaz is the risk of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE). A Yaz VTE is actually a combination of events. It begins with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), in which blood clots form in the arms, pelvis, legs, or other part of the body. These blood clots break loose, travel in the bloodstream, and get trapped in the lungs. There, they block lung vessels and cause a Pulmonary Embolism (PE).
Do I Have a Yaz Lawsuit? Collen A. Clark is a true advocate for his clients and is passionate about helping Texans that have been injured or wronged. If you or a loved one has been injured by blood clots, you should contact our lawyers immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a lawsuit.
Yaz (drospirenone / ethinyl estradiol) is a hormonal medication that can cause a venous thromboembolism (VTE). Although the risk of a Yaz VTE is life-threatening, you may not have been informed about this risk before you decided to take Yaz birth control pills.
In fact, all hormonal birth control pills increase a woman’s risk of having blood clots and VTEs. However, several studies and the FDA have found that drospirenone, an ingredient in Yaz, may increase the risk of blood clots by three-fold, compared to older birth control pills.
What is a Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)?
A Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is a life-threatening venous disorder that involves both Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and a Pulmonary Embolism (PE). The condition begins when blood clots (venous thrombi) form along the walls of veins. The blood clots are sticky coagulations of red blood cells, platelets, enzymes in the blood, and fibrin to bind it all together. A DVT blood clot can form anywhere in the body, but it usually forms in the lower leg, thigh, pelvis, or arm. DVTs in the thigh are most dangerous, because around 50% cause a pulmonary embolism.
Blood clots are ideally suited to block blood vessels. This is a problem, because they occasionally break away from their original location, blocking blood vessels in the lungs (called a pulmonary embolism). Obstructed vessels in the lungs can cause severe tissue damage in the lungs. This prevents the exchange of oxygen that is necessary for life.
The heart may also be affected by a PE. Normally, the heart pumps blood into the lungs. If the blood vessels are narrowed or blocked, blood pressure skyrockets, and the heart must work extra hard to force blood into the lungs. If the heart is unable to accomplish this task, a Yaz VTE can cause heart failure, cardiac arrest, and death.
Signs & Symptoms of a Yaz VTE
The problem with Yaz VTE is that it often has no symptoms in the early stages. Patients may delay seeking treatment, and even when they do go to the hospital, a doctor may miss the diagnosis of a blood clot. Lack of diagnosis increases the risk that a Yaz VTE will cause death.
When a Yaz VTE does cause symptoms, they typically include the following:
- Symptoms in the arms or legs: Pain, tenderness, swelling, redness, discoloration, increased warmth, dilated veins, lack of blood flow to the fingers/toes
- Being short of breath for no apparent reason
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid pulse
- Sweating profusely
- Chest pain, tightness, or discomfort
- Changes in consciousness, including feeling weak, tired, faint, etc.
- Losing consciousness
- Coughing, which may produce bloody sputum
- “Galloping” heart rhythm
- “Crackling” sounds in the lungs when the patient breathes
- Feeling anxious, nervous, or apprehensive
Treatment & Prognosis
With early diagnosis of a Yaz VTE, a physician will attempt to prevent the blood clot from growing larger and causing a pulmonary embolism. This usually involves intravenous and oral medications that inhibit blood-clotting. If the blood clot has entered the lungs and caused a Pulmonary Embolism, treatment will be more aggressive, and may include surgery to remove the obstruction in the lungs.
The long-term outlook for people who suffer from a Yaz VTE depends on the severity of the condition. Between 25-60% of people who have a VTE suffer from Post-Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS), which occurs when there is severe damage to the veins. The person may have lifelong issues with pain in the legs, swelling, skin discoloration, varicose veins, and ulcers. Symptoms of PTS may reduce the person’s quality of life.