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Can old people on oral anticoagulants be safely managed as out-patients?
  1. M. Joglekar,
  2. K. Mohanaruban,
  3. A. J. Bayer,
  4. M. S. Pathy
  1. Department of Geriatric Medicine, Cardiff Royal Infirmary, UK.


    Of 62 patients (mean age 75, range 65-92 years) referred to an out-patient anticoagulant clinic specifically for those aged 65 years or more, treatment was considered unsafe in only one patient and was discontinued. Minor bleeding which did not require a significant change in management was recorded on 25 (7%) of 381 clinic visits and one major haemorrhage occurred requiring emergency hospital admission. Anticoagulation was maintained within the therapeutic range on 284 (75%) visits. The results confirm that with appropriate out-patient care and supervision, the risks of oral anticoagulant therapy in the elderly need be no greater than in younger patients.

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