The reversal of anticoagulation in clinical practice

Sally Thomas, Michael Makris
Clinical Medicine: Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of London 2018, 18 (4): 314-319
Widespread use of anticoagulant drugs for treatment and -prevention of thromboembolic events means it is common to encounter patients requiring reversal of anticoagulation for management of bleeding or invasive procedures. While supportive and general measures apply for patients on all agents, recent diversification in the number of licensed agents makes an understanding of drug-specific reversal strategies essential. Recognising effects upon, and limitations of, laboratory measures of coagulation also plays an important role. An understanding of reversal strategies alone is insufficient to competently care for patients who may require anticoagulation reversal. It is also necessary to reduce the need for reversal through correct prescribing and by employing appropriate periprocedural bridging strategies for elective and semi-elective procedures. Finally, consideration of whether and when to reintroduce an anticoagulant drug following reversal is important not only to balance bleeding and thrombotic risks for individual patients but also for timely management of discharge.

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