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21st World Congress of the World Society of Cardio-Thoracic Surgeons


Mark M. Levinson, MD

Hutchinson Hospital, Hutchinson Kansas

Anticoagulation is a term which means "reducing the bloods potential to clot". Many people interchange the expression "thinning of the blood" with the term "anticoagulation". In fact, this later term is so common that anticoagulant medications are usually spoken of as blood thinners. However, anticoagulants do not really "thin out", disolve, or dilute any aspect of the blood. The role of "blood thinners" rests solely with their unique ability to reduce clotting of the blood, and thus reduce the risk of certain conditions which arise from abnormal clot formation.

The most widely used oral anticoagulant (and one of the most commonly prescribed medications) in the Western World is warfarin (also known by the trade name of Coumadin®). This unique medication does only one thing. It reduces the tendency of the blood to clot. There are millions of patients worldwide safely taking Coumadin®. However, the unique action and metabolism of this drug requires careful dosing, adminstration and follow-up. The key to success with Coumadin® managment is education! Patients who understand the reasons for prescribing and monitoring Coumadin® are universally successful in long-term therapy with this medication.

The Learning Center is providing a thorough discussion of Coumadin® management to assist you in taking the steps necessary for safe and successful usage of this important medication. Please take the time to review all of the major Coumadin® related topics below.

If you are involved on the physician or nursing side of Coumadin® administration, you might want to review the following software which specializes in the management of large anticoagulation clinic population:

Dawn AC

Additional information about Coumadin® can be found in the following sections:

Disclaimer: The information provided in this educational forum is solely for your information, and is not intended to replace actual recommendations or advice given by your treating physician.

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