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Chapter: Medical Surgical Nursing: Assessment and Management of Patients With Hematologic Disorders

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Complications of Anticoagulant Therapy

Anticoagulants are used in the treatment or prevention of thrombosis.

COMPLICATIONS OF ANTICOAGULANT THERAPY

 

Anticoagulants are used in the treatment or prevention of thrombosis. These agents, particularly warfarin or heparin, can result in bleeding. If the PT or PTT is longer than desired and bleeding has not occurred, the medication can be stopped or the dose decreased. Vitamin K is administered for warfarin toxicity. Protamine sulfate is rarely needed for heparin toxicity, because the half-life of heparin is very short. With significant bleeding, fresh frozen plasma replaces the vitamin K–dependent coagulation factors.

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