J Korean Soc Clin Toxicol.  2009 Dec;7(2):164-171.

The Clinical Characteristics and Mortality Factors of Patients with Hemorrhagic Complications after Anticoagulation Therapy with Warfarin

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea. bjoh@amc.seoul.kr

Abstract

PURPOSE: The number of patients who take warfarin is growing and so is the number of complications. Hemorrhage is the major complication, but the clinical characteristics and outcomes have not been determined for Korean patients. Therefore, we tried to evaluate the characteristics of the patients with hemorrhagic complications after taking warfarin as anticoagulation therapy.
METHODS
We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of the patients who visited the emergency room with bleeding complications after taking warfarin anticoagulation at the out-patient clinic for 1 year from 1st January 2008. We compared between two groups (the major hemorrhage group vs. the minor hemorrhage group) according to the clinical criteria, the unstable vital signs that required blood transfusion, transfusion more than 2 units of blood, the need for further laboratory follow-up, the need for interventional treatment and the development of critical complications or death due to bleeding.
RESULTS
There were 150 patients who met the criteria and had acute hemorrhagic complications (the major group: 90 patients and the minor group: 60 patients). In the major hemorrhage group, the frequent sites of bleeding were the gastro-intestinal system (40 patients), lung (14 patients) and intracranium (7 patients). At the emergency room, the major group showed a higher initial INR of the activated prothrombin time than did the minor group (p=0.02). The bleeding sites of the fatal cases were the gastro-intestinal system (3 patients), lung (3 patients) and intracranium (3 patients), but the percentage of fatality was the highest for intracranium bleeding.
CONCLUSION
In the major hemorrhage group, gastrointestinal bleeding was the most frequent complication and fatality was the highest for intracranium bleeding. An initially higher INR showed a greater risk of major bleeding, but not more fatalities.

Keyword

Warfarin; Hemorrhage; Toxicity

MeSH Terms

Blood Transfusion
Emergencies
Follow-Up Studies
Hemorrhage
Humans
International Normalized Ratio
Lung
Medical Records
Outpatients
Prothrombin Time
Retrospective Studies
Vital Signs
Warfarin
Warfarin
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