Skip to main content

Anticoagulation Management

If you have a heart or vascular condition that puts you at risk for blood clots, your treatment may include the use of anticoagulants also called blood thinners — such as warfarin (Coumadin®). These medicines slow down your body’s clotting process to help prevent blood clots, heart attacks and strokes.Because taking blood thinners can raise your risk of bleeding, you’ll need a specialist to closely monitor your health.

PeaceHealth has health professionals specially trained in anticoagulation management. You’ll be more at ease knowing you have an expert team looking after you and will work with you to:

  • Make sure you’re taking the right dosage(amount)
  • Help you manage any side effects of treatment
  • Educate you about your medicine and how to keep yourself safe
  • Keep your primary care doctor up to date and informed about your progress and health

PeaceHealth offers comprehensive care to keep you healthy during anticoagulation therapy.

Coordinated care

The anticoagulation specialists at PeaceHealth work closely with your primary care doctor and other providers. They work to make sure you’ll receive safe treatment and seamless, coordinated care focused on your needs.

Fast, convenient appointments

When you come to PeaceHealth for your scheduled appointment, you’ll work with healthcare professionals who will make it a little easier for you to take care of yourself. They’ll monitor your health and provide the expertise to help you get in and out of your appointment quickly

Highly trained professionals protecting your health

You’ll get care from pharmacists with advanced training in anticoagulation management. Studies have shown that working with a pharmacist may lower your risk of bleeding and forming blot clots during treatment.

The benefits of expert care

At PeaceHealth, anticoagulation specialists help you to get the most from your treatment, while minimizing possible side effects. They offer expert care to make sure you're responding well to therapy and will keep a close eye out for any potential problems.

Conditions We Treat

After surgery

You're at greater risk for a blood clot when you're in the hospital and not moving around as you usually do. To help prevent blood clots after surgery, you may need to take blood thinners for a while to help prevent a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). A DVT is a blood clot in a deep vein or a blood clot that travels to your lungs, also known as a pulmonary embolism.

Atrial fibrillation (AFib)

AFib causes a fast, irregular heartbeat that makes your heart’s upper chambers quiver, rather than pump with force. This causes blood to pool in your heart, which can lead to a blood clot.

Heart valve problems

If you have an artificial heart valve, it changes the way blood flows through your heart. Blood movement can also slow down around the valve itself. Both can cause a blood clot. If your valve replacement is made from animal or human tissue (biological valve), you’ll only need to take blood thinners for a short time after surgery while your body adjusts to the new valve.

Vascular conditions

Atherosclerosis is a condition caused when your blood vessels become narrow from a buildup of a fatty substance called plaque. This condition can raise your risk of a blood clot. Plaque that forms in the arteries in your heart is called coronary artery disease. When plaque forms in your arms and legs, it’s known as peripheral artery disease. Your doctor may also prescribe blood thinners if you’re at risk for a stroke or you’ve had one, or if you have a deep vein thrombosis.

Treatments Provided

Anticoagulation consultation

Once your doctor refers you to the anticoagulation clinic, you'll meet with a health professional who’ll educate you about blood thinners and answer your questions. You'll have a few visits the first few weeks you begin therapy to make sure the dose is right for you and that you're responding well.

  • After that, you’ll have monthly visits. Each appointment will take about 15 minutes. The health professional will:
  • Take a blood sample from your finger to see how long it takes for your blood to clot; this is your international normalized ratio INR result. It lets them know if they need to adjust the dose for you. They may send the sample to the lab for a closer look.
  • Talk to you about how you’re feeling and ask you about any new symptoms or side effects your experiencing and to make sure there are no interactions with other medicines you may be taking.
  • Schedule your follow-up appointment for the next month.
Anticoagulation education

You’ll learn about your condition, the medicines you’re taking and any side effects to watch for. Our specialist will help to make sure you have the information you need to care for yourself. 

Home and Community services

If you can’t go to PeaceHealth for monthly appointments, caregivers can often come to you, providing expert care in the comfort of your own home and coordinating with our anticoagulation clinic to manage your medication.

Medicine review

To make sure you don’t have any problems, anticoagulation specialists at PeaceHealth will talk to you about all the medicines you’re taking, including over-the-counter supplements. They’ll also help keep you safe by telling you about possible food and medicine interactions.

Pre-surgical anticoagulant planning

For your safety, it’s important that you talk to your doctor before having any procedure or surgery, including dental procedures. Your doctor and the anticoagulation specialists will look at your blood-clotting history and your risk for blood clots to determine if you need to stop taking your blood thinners for a short time. You’ll get instructions for taking your medicine before and after your procedure.