Hartford Hospital is the only hospital in the state to be approved for a new medication to treat brain hemorrhages or bleeding related to the use of certain blood thinners. Dr. Mark Alberts, Physician in Chief of the Hartford HealthCare Ayer Neuroscience Institute and Chief of Neurology at Hartford Hospital explains the benefits of this new medication.
Q. Tell us about Andexxa and what it means.
A. Andexxa is the only medication that is FDA-approved to reverse serious bleeding in patients taking a new type of blood thinner (called a Factor X-a inhibitor), such as Eliquis or Xaralto. Bleeding in the brain is among the worse (though rare) complications of taking a blood thinner. Having Andexxa available to treat these patients provides us with an important treatment option that will hopefully reduce the bleeding and potentially save lives.
Q. How was Hartford Hospital selected as the only hospital in the state approved for this new medication?
A: There is a global shortage of Andrexxa due to the complicated process used to manufacture this medication. Due to the shortage, the company has a limited supply of the drug, and must carefully choose which hospitals are most likely to see patients who might benefit from this new medication. Since Hartford Hospital is a comprehensive stroke center and a Level 1 trauma center, it is likely to see many patients who might need and benefit from this new drug.
Q. Has the drug been used in cases at Hartford Hospital? How successful has it been?
A. Yes. We have used Andexxa in about a half dozen patients. In almost every case, the medication has worked as expected and the patient had a good or reasonable outcome based on the size of the initial bleed.
Q. Hartford HealthCare has a partnership with Brown University and Yale University participating in the prestigious multi-site research consortium StrokeNet. Tell us about that.
A: Having Hartford HealthCare as a designated StrokeNet site means that patients in our system will have access to the latest clinical studies, medications and procedures that can prevent a stroke, treat a stroke, or improve recovery and function after a stroke. StrokeNet is a national network that includes many of the top-rated hospitals and medical centers in the country. Hartford HealthCare participates as part of a regional coordinating center that includes both Yale University, Brown University and their affiliated hospitals. We are thrilled to be participating in this effort with our colleagues, and to bring state-of-the-art treatments to patients in southern New England and elsewhere in the region.