The Anticoagulation Clinic is an outpatient center that provides support to patients facing cardiovascular disease. At the clinic, we help cardiovascular patients manage their blood thinner medication therapy.
What is an Anticoagulant?
Anticoagulant medication is often prescribed to help prevent and treat blood clots throughout the body; to manage atrial fibrillation; and after heart-valve replacement surgery. Because everyone responds differently to anticoagulants, it is necessary to monitor your response to the medication carefully.
At the clinic, we will perform a simple finger stick to obtain a small drop of blood to be tested. This test measures your prothrombin time (PT) which is converted to an international normalized ratio (INR). This result helps us to see how fast your blood is clotting and therefore recommend the correct dose of anticoagulation medication, such as warfarin or coumadin.
Several factors can affect your PT/INR, including sickness, diet, other medications/vitamins/supplements, physical activities, and failure to take warfarin as prescribed.
- You will bruise easier when using an anticoagulant. If you notice excessive bruising (a lot more than normal), please contact the clinic.
- If your PT/INR level becomes too high, you are at risk for bleeding.
- If your PT/INR level becomes too low, you are at risk for developing a blood clot.
Do's and Don'ts of Anticoagulation Therapy
- Do get your blood tested as scheduled.
- Do keep the clinic informed of any medication changes, either prescribed or over the counter.
- Do take your dose exactly the way you were instructed to.
- Do inform other doctors, dentists, or emergency personnel care that you are on anticoagulation therapy.
- Do refill your prescription on time
- Do consider purchasing an ID bracelet or necklace or carry a card to alert emergency personnel that you are on anticoagulation therapy.
- Do take your anticoagulant in the evening.
- Do avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
- Do avoid drastic changes to your diet.
- Do check with your doctor before participating in sports/activities that may cause traumatic injury.
- Do not take an extra tablet to make up for a missed dose.
- Do not take warfarin if you are pregnant or may become pregnant.
- Do not take generic warfarin unless specified by your doctor.
- Do not change your dose of warfarin unless instructed to do so by our clinic or your doctor.
Symptoms of Concern
Contact us if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Severe or sudden headache, dizziness, or weakness
- Bleeding from a cut that will not stop
- Nosebleeds (a small amount of pinkish mucus is normal)
- Bleeding gums while brushing your teeth
- Vomiting blood
- Red or dark brown urine
- Black, tarry or red stools
- More bleeding than usual during menstruation
- Unusual pain or swelling
*If you have a cut that will not stop bleeding, please apply constant pressure to the wound and seek medical attention!
Contact the Anticoagulation Clinic
- Community Hospital East: 317-355-5109; East Remote Center: 317-355-1645
- Community Hospital South: 317-887-7982
- Community Heart and Vascular Hospital: 317-621-8690
- Community Howard: 765-453-8567
- Community Hospital Anderson (part of Healthy Hearts Clinic): 765-298-1798
- Hours: Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
- Patients should park in the west parking lot of the 1210B building and enter through door 6.