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Indian J Hematol Blood Transfus. 2013 Mar;29(1):11-6. doi: 10.1007/s12288-011-0137-4. Epub 2012 Jan 31.

An Audit of Management of Patients on Oral Anticoagulant Therapy With International Normalized Ratio (INR) Five or Above.

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Departments of Cardiology and Pathology, Christian Medical College & Hospital, Brown Road, Ludhiana, 141008 Punjab India.


Maintaining the international normalized ratio (INR) within the therapeutic range in patients on oral anticoagulant treatment is a challenge for the physician. Excessive anticoagulation poses the risk of bleeding in patients. Management strategies vary among clinicians although standard guidelines exist for the same. We conducted an audit in patients on oral anticoagulant therapy in our hospital with excessive anticoagulation. This retrospective study was carried out among patients on oral anticoagulant therapy for various thrombotic conditions with at least a single INR recording of 5 or more. Other than demographic details, the type of oral anticoagulant used, indication, duration of treatment, dosage and concomitant use of interacting drugs or alcohol were also recorded. Detail of the nature and site of bleed and management for the same was also noted. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Fifty episodes with INR ≥ 5 (5.0-10.75) were noted in 44 patients (M:F = 1:1). Their age ranged from 20 to 88 years (mean 50.3 ± 16.4 years). The duration of anticoagulant therapy varied from 3 days to 180 months. Of the 43 episodes in patients who had no bleeding, the anticoagulant was stopped on 32 occasions for variable periods with dose reduction in the rest of the patients. Spontaneous bleeding was seen in seven patients (6 major and 1 minor). Among the seven patients with bleeding, other than stopping he oral anticoagulant drug, other measures taken were vitamin K therapy, fresh frozen plasma or packed red cell transfusion. Overall management strategy of patients with high INR was in compliance with standard recommendations.


Bleeding; International normalized ratio (INR); Management; Oral anticoagulant

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