Your Anticoagulation Clinic
The Anticoagulation Clinic (ACC) at Decatur County Memorial Hospital is a physician-directed, pharmacist-managed service. All pharmacists working in the clinic have received specialized training and hold certifications in anticoagulation therapy management. After all, who knows more about medications than a pharmacist?
We specialize in advanced warfarin (Coumadin) management using dose monitoring, which involves face-to-face contact, rather than a telephone call, for more responsive care. You don’t have to leave a message with your question and wait hours or days for a response.
Participation in the ACC is voluntary. Patients are free to choose between monitoring in the clinic or continuing monitoring with their physician. An advantage of our anticoagulation clinic is that blood is obtained from a simple finger stick rather than a regular blood draw. Testing is finished in seconds; you’ll know your INR results before leaving the clinic. Our pharmacists also use physician-approved protocols to adjust doses immediately, if necessary. This means you’ll know what dosage to take before leaving the clinic—no more waiting hours or days after your visit to know if your dosage needs to be changed. This point-of-care program reduces the risk of adverse events with warfarin and thus increases your safety.
What is Anticoagulation Therapy?
Simply put, AntiCoagulation Therapy is the use of medications to reduce the risk of blood clots. Inpatient education and the outpatient AntiCoagulation Clinic (ACC) focus on the use of the oral medication Coumadin (also known as warfarin), which helps prevent harmful blood clots from forming and lengthens the time it normally takes for your blood to clot (measured as INR, your international normalized ratio). Due to certain conditions, such as:
Atrial Fibrillation (AF, AFib)
Mechanical Heart Valves
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)
Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
Plus some other disorders as determined by a physician
Many patients require the use of an anticoagulant, to prevent repeated complications.
What services are provided at the DCMH Anticoagulation Clinic?
At each visit, the DCMH Pharmacist performs a simple finger stick test, and results are available within seconds, allowing you to know your INR results before leaving the clinic. One on one clinic visits allow the pharmacist to make dosage adjustments and provide education on diet, alcohol consumption, drug interactions, bleeding and clotting events. Written instructions and printed materials are provided. Through continuous education, adherence is improved significantly, which aids in achieving and maintaining the patient’s goal INR range.
Meet Our Staff:
Our caring and certified staff of pharmacists are devoted to providing our patients with the best possible care. With over 100 years of collective Pharmacy experience, you can rest assured that our staff of Pharmacists are qualified, knowledgeable experts on the subject of safe and effective use of medications. Whether you are taking one medication or a dozen, our staff will be able to answer your questions about potential drug interactions, appropriate dosage, and the safe use of warfarin.
To join our anticoagulation program:
- Ask your physician.
- If appropriate, your physician will need to provide a referral to our clinic. Feel free to print the Physician Referral Form and take it with you to your office visit to make it easier for the Physician to complete that referral.
- A Pharmacist from the clinic will contact you to set up an appointment once we receive the referral from the Physician.
For more information consult the list below or feel free to call (812) 663-1152 and ask to speak with a Pharmacist.
It is important for patients to be aware:
- Anticoagulant patients bruise more easily, but if excessive bruising occurs, please contact the clinic.
- Patients are at risk for bleeding when their PT/INR level becomes too high.
- Patients are at risk for developing a blood clot when their PT/INR level becomes too low.
What are some of the factors that might impact your PT/INR?
- The use of other medications, vitamins and/or herbal supplements
- The amount of physical activity
- Missing doses of warfarin, or if the patient does not take it as prescribed
Our clinic should be contacted if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Pain or swelling which is unusual
- The vomiting of blood
- A cut that will not stop bleeding
- Unusual nosebleeds (a small amount in the mucus is normal)
- Severe or sudden weakness, dizziness, or headache
- Bleeding gums that result from brushing your teeth
- Urine that appears red or dark brown
- Stools that are black, tarry or red
- Menstruation bleeding heavier than normal
You should seek immediate medical attention if you have a cut that will not stop bleeding. Apply constant pressure to the wound when contacting assistance
Anticoagulation patients should:
- NOT make up for a missed dose by taking an extra tablet.
- NOT take warfarin if you are pregnant or may become pregnant.
- NOT take generic warfarin unless specified by your doctor.
- NOT change your dose of warfarin unless instructed to do so by our clinic or your doctor.
With Anticoagulation therapy you MUST:
- Get your blood tested as scheduled.
- Keep our clinic informed of any medication changes, either prescribed or over the counter.
- Take your dose exactly the way you were instructed.
- Inform other doctors, dentists, or emergency personnel care that you are on anticoagulation therapy.
- Refill your prescription on time
- Consider purchasing an ID bracelet or necklace or carry a card to alert emergency personnel that you are on anticoagulation therapy.
- Take your anticoagulant in the evening.
Anticoagulation therapy requires you to watch the following:
- Drastic changes to your diet should be avoided.
- Excessive alcohol consumption should be avoided.
- Before participating in any sports/activities that may cause traumatic injury, ask your doctor.
What are some of the factors which might affect your PT/INR?