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Surgery. 2019 Oct;166(4):564-571. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2019.04.039. Epub 2019 Aug 19.

Association of mortality among trauma patients taking preinjury direct oral anticoagulants versus vitamin K antagonists.

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Inpatient Pharmacy, Saint Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, MI.
Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Ann Arbor.
Department of Surgery, Saint Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, MI. Electronic address:



The population of patients on anticoagulant or antiplatelet therapy for medical conditions is increasing. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of preinjury anticoagulation or antiplatelet therapy on outcomes after trauma.


This cohort study analyzed data from the Michigan Trauma Quality Improvement Program from 2012 to 2017 and included trauma patients age ≥16 years with an Injury Severity Score ≥5 treated at 29 hospitals. The primary outcome was in-hospital mortality.


Of 115,042 trauma patients, 44.2% were women and 78.2% were white with a mean age (standard deviation) of 59.1 (23.2) years. A total of 23,196 patients were on antiplatelet therapy, 3,855 on warfarin, 1,893 on warfarin + antiplatelet agent, 1,306 on a direct oral anticoagulant, and 717 patients on direct oral anticoagulant + antiplatelet therapy. We observed an increased risk of mortality in patients on preinjury antiplatelet (odds ratio [OR] 1.17; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.02-1.33), warfarin (OR 1.32; 95% CI 1.05-1.65), or warfarin + antiplatelet therapy (OR 1.59; 95% CI 1.18-2.14). Patients on a direct oral anticoagulant only were not at statistically increased risk for mortality.


Preinjury antiplatelet and/or warfarin use was associated with an increased risk of mortality after traumatic injury. Preinjury direct oral anticoagulant use was not associated with a statistically increased risk of adverse outcomes.


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