The anticoagulation Clinic at Eastlake is run by Registered Nurses and overseen by our physicians.
Anticoagulation medication slows the blood clotting process. It helps prevent harmful blood clots from forming or existing blood clots from getting larger. Blood clots can form in veins, arteries, or even within the chambers of the heart or heart valves. Blood clots can create a blockage in blood vessels and block the flow of blood to a part of the body.
Certain anticoagulation medications work by interfering with the production of some of the clotting factors that are made in the liver and needed for the blood to clot. Anticoagulation medications do this by blocking the action of vitamin K in the body, which promotes clot formation.
Some conditions in which anticoagulation medications may be used include:
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – usually a blood clot in the leg
Pulmonary embolism (PE) – a blood clot in the lung
Atrial fibrillation – An irregular heartbeat that can increase the chance of blood clots
Heart valve replacement – Artificial heart valves can increase the chance of blood clots
Stroke – A blood clot in the brain
Post orthopedic surgery – increased risk of blood clots after hip or knee surgery
Hypercoagulable states – blood clotting disorders
The amount of anticoagulation medications you need is based on a blood test called the INR (International Normalized Ratio). The INR measures how fast your blood is clotting. At the anticoagulation clinic at Eastlake, we will determine if your anticoagulation medications dose is appropriate and adjust your dose based on this test. Anticoagulation medication can be affected by many different medications, foods, and supplements. For example, foods high in vitamin K such as green leafy vegetables may affect the way that anticoagulation medications are absorbed by your body. Getting your blood tested to check your INR is extremely important.
Our anticoagulation clinic nurses provide patient education, close monitoring of lab values, and instructions on the appropriate anticoagulation medication dose based on your most recent INR.