Management of Bleeding Complications in the Anticoagulated Patient
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As new anticoagulants become available, and the number of anticoagulated patients continues to rise, it is necessary to know how to deal with associated bleeding complications. In this review, reversal strategies for traditional anticoagulants (warfarin and heparin) as well as newer anticoagulants are described. Prothrombin complex concentrates (PPCs) can be used to reverse vitamin K antagonists (VKA), and plasma may be used where they are not available. Recombinant activated factor VII (rFVIIa) may be useful to reverse pentasaccharide anticoagulants. 1-Desamino-8-D-arginine vasopressin (DDAVP), cryoprecipitate, PCCs, and dialysis may help to reverse direct thrombin inhibitors, while rFVIIa seems to be ineffective. The effect of direct factor Xa inhibitors may be reversed by PCCs, FVIIa, or factor Xa concentrates.
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