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Drugs. 2012 Oct 22;72(15):1965-75. doi: 10.2165/11641160-000000000-00000.

Management of bleeding in patients receiving conventional or new anticoagulants: a practical and case-based approach.

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Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, University of Insubria, Varese, Italy.


Anticoagulant drugs are highly effective for the prevention and treatment of venous and arterial thromboembolism. However, their use is also associated with an increased risk for bleeding, with an associated ∼10% case-fatality rate. Appropriate strategies for the management and reversal of anticoagulant-associated bleeding are clinically important and, ideally, should be standardized. These include general resuscitation, and diagnosis and local treatment of the bleeding source, and one or more of the following interventions: transfusion of red cells; transfusion of clotting factor replacements; and administration of anticoagulant antidotes and other prohaemostatic agents. Reversal strategies for the 'conventional' anticoagulants are based largely on clinical evidence, whereas evidence to guide the management of bleeding associated with 'new' anticoagulants is emerging. This review provides an evidence-based, but practical, patient-focused approach for the management of bleeding associated with the old and new anticoagulants.

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