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Anticoagulation Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What is an anticoagulation?

More than 6 million people worldwide take oral anticoagulation medications to reduce the body's chances of forming dangerous blood clots. Our anticoagulation clinic is a special clinic dedicated to managing a patient’s dosage of blood thinning medications. Patients are prescribed medications to maintain an optimal therapeutic range to prevent complications such as unwanted blood clotting or excessive bleeding.


Q: What types of conditions do you treat?

We see patients with a variety of disorders such as abnormal heart rhythm, heart valve replacement, heart attack, deep vein thrombosis (clots in the thigh, leg, or pelvis), stroke, pulmonary embolism (clots that travel to the lungs), and a variety of other disorders.


Q: Why is anticoagulation therapy management necessary?

The effectiveness of oral anticoagulation therapy can change over time due to changes in a patient’s diet, other medications or illnesses the patient may experience, or alcohol usage and lifestyle changes. Because of these changes, patients on oral anticoagulation medications require close monitoring of their blood clotting time, through lab tests, such as PT/INR, to maintain a desired therapeutic range to avoid unwanted blood clots, or excessive bleeding.


Q: What is PT?

PT is the abbreviation for prothrombin time, the most common lab test to determine the clotting time of a patient’s blood. Results are reported as the number of seconds it takes for the blood to clot during the lab test.


Q: What is an INR?

INR stands for international normalized ratio, which is the accepted standard unit for reporting the prothrombin time results. The INR is a conversion unit that takes into account differences between various testing regimens to normalize the results.


Q: Will my referring physician receive updates on my condition and care plan?

Our hematologists communicate with the physician who referred you and all other referring physicians. They provide updates on a regular basis to your doctors, as well as find out about any additional conditions that might require immediate attention.