For patients that have atrial fibrillation/flutter, had heart valve replacement or certain joint replacement surgeries, or other certain conditions, it is important to slow the blood’s clotting process to avoid blood clots and reduce the risk of stroke and thromboembolism. A medication is given to achieve this and is referred to anticoagulation therapy. These medications do not actually “thin" the blood or keep it from clotting, they simply slow down the speed at which clots form.
The PeaceHealth Medical Group Anticoagulation Clinic is designed to provide a uniform mechanism for the long-term management of patient's anticoagulation therapy, to optimize therapy, and to minimize the risk of hemorrhage. All patients will continue to maintain a primary care physician to provide all medical care other than adjustment in their anticoagulation therapy.
When coming in for your appointment, check in at the Specialty Clinic front desk. You will be asked to have a seat and then taken back by a nurse into an exam room. Each 15 minute appointment will include reviewing your current medications, obtaining a finger stick INR (clotting test) and adjusting anticoagulation therapy as needed. We feel that this immediate feedback on INR tests, along with our increased education efforts, will allow you better control of your therapy thus limiting any potential drug interactions and side effects. Our on-going patient education will include methods of handling side effects, symptoms of toxicity, importance of compliance with medication therapy and coming in for routine checks.
If your values are within the therapeutic range and you are not having any problems, you may be advised to stay on the same dose of Coumadin and be scheduled for your next clinic appointment up to 1 month later. Patients with problems related or unrelated to Coumadin therapy are discussed with the patient's primary care provider or a PeaceHealth Medical Group physician for evaluation.