The Anticoagulation Clinic is designed for the care of cardiac patients who are prescribed an anticoagulant such as warfarin (Coumadin®).
An anticoagulant is a medication that reduces the ability of clots to form in the blood. “Anti” means against and “coagulate” means to thicken into a gel or solid. Anticoagulants are often also called blood thinners.
The clinic is staffed by registered nurses who specialize in the care and management of patients who are taking anticoagulants for either short-term or long-term use. The nurses work with Heart Institute cardiologists to manage patients’ medications based on their lab results. An International Normalized Ratio (INR) is the blood test used to determine how quickly a person’s blood clots.
People at the Clinic staff work in conjunction with other health care providers, such as your family physician and cardiologist.
What to Expect
The clinic staff do a variety of things, including:
- Determine, monitor and manage the amount of medication patients should take, based on blood testing
- Monitor lab results and set times for repeat blood testing
- Adjust dosage, as necessary, and check for possible drug interactions
- Educate patients and family
- Communicate with family physicians and/or cardiologists
Patients will be seen in the clinic once by the cardiologist, and then as-needed by the nurses.
Clinic staff work with patients to determine the best method of communication for follow-up. The standard approach is by an automated call system.
The Anticoagulation Medication (pdf) pamphlet provides information on Warfarin (Coumadin®) and other oral anticoagulant medications.