About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

Individualizing Patients Care on Blood Thinners Helps Reduce Risk

by VR Sreeraman on October 22, 2008 at 4:06 PM
Font : A-A+

 Individualizing Patients Care on Blood Thinners Helps Reduce Risk

In light of a recent national report urging safer use of blood thinners, Geisinger experts say that individualizing treatment plans and closely monitoring a patient's response to the drugs helps reduce risk and improve patient outcomes.

The Joint Commission, a healthcare provider accrediting and safety group, issued a special bulletin recently stating that an alarming number of patients nationwide have experienced major complications and died because blood thinners have been incorrectly administered.

Advertisement

Blood thinners such as warfarin (which is also known by its trade name Coumadin) and heparin prevent blood clots from forming. However, these medications also have a serious complication risk, said Peter Berger, MD, a Geisinger interventional cardiologist who has published extensively on this topic.

"The effects of these drugs are different from patient to patient," Dr. Berger said. "For instance, warfarin is more affected by other drugs than any other medication. And the strength of different vials of heparin varies more than people realize."
Advertisement

Geisinger individually tailors blood thinner dosage levels to patients based on their diet, other medications, and the desired thinning of their blood.

Geisinger also operates a system-wide outpatient anticoagulation clinic for patients with heart problems and those who have had a deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism.

Patients' blood clotting rates are closely monitored depending on their blood thinner. Patients on heparin who are hospitalized are checked every six hours, while patients on warfarin are checked once daily. Patients who receive treatment at the clinic on an outpatient basis are checked every few weeks.

Patients also receive detailed information about how blood thinners work and how patients can avoid medication problems.

In addition, Geisinger pharmacists do not change dosing concentrations of blood thinners; only one concentration is used, which reduces the risk of miscalculating the dosing levels, said Dean Parry, RPh, Geisinger's director of clinical pharmacy programs. Geisinger also has special IV pumps that are designed to sound an alarm if a dose is given outside of safe range.

Since launching the anticoagulation clinic, Geisinger has reduced the number of bleeding complications, formation of new blood clots and other adverse events by 75%, Parry said. The number of patients within the ideal blood clotting rate range has also improved.

"These drugs significantly change a patient's clotting rate," Parry said. "It's important that patients cooperate in their care by maintaining a steady diet, letting their doctors know when they start a new medication and letting all caregivers know when they are on a blood thinner."

These safety measures are especially important for patients who undergo surgery. "When patients need an invasive procedure and are on warfarin, their medication management has to be carefully planned in advance," Dr. Berger said. "Too much of the drug can lead to excessive bleeding at the procedure site, while too little can cause blood clots."

Source: Newswise
SRM/SK
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Turmeric: Magic Ingredient to Keep you Healthy in Winter
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Thalassemia Congenital Heart Disease Anticoagulants Hemophilia Blood in Stools - Symptom Evaluation Bombay Blood Group Common Side Effects of Anticoagulants / Blood Thinners 

Recommended Reading
Scientists Create Safer Alternative to Controversial Blood Thinner Heparin
A team of researcher from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York has announced the creation .....
US Traces Contaminated Blood-thinner, Heparin to Chinese Suppliers
The US government said on Thursday that batches of the recalled blood thinner heparin, which ......
US FDA Reports More Deaths from Blood Thinner Heparin
More than 100 people have died from taking the blood thinner heparin, the Food and Drug ......
Blood Thinner Drug Could Be Used to Treat Lung Cancer
The world's largest lung cancer clinical trials are going on in Cardiff UK using Fragmin, a blood .....
Anticoagulants
Anticoagulants prevent the clotting of blood in our body. They are administered orally or via ......
Blood in Stools - Symptom Evaluation
Blood in stools results from bleeding that arises from any part of the digestive tract. Causes of bl...
Bombay Blood Group
Bombay blood group is a rare blood type in which the people have an H antigen deficiency. They can r...
Common Side Effects of Anticoagulants / Blood Thinners
The main side effect of anticoagulants or blood thinners is bleeding. Others include reduced platele...
Congenital Heart Disease
Heart diseases that are present at birth are called ď Congenital heart diseasesĒ....
Hemophilia
Hemophilia is a rare single gene, X- linked disorder, which tends to run in families....
Thalassemia
Thalassemia is an inherited blood disorder passed on through parental genes causing the body to prod...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use