LifeBridge Health's Anticoagulation Clinics monitor adult patients who are at risk for blood clots and therefore take anticoagulant medications, also known as "blood thinners."
Anticoagulants help prevent unwanted clots from forming in the blood. This prevents major complications such as vessel or valve obstruction, which could lead to heart attack, stroke or pulmonary embolisms. However, it's important that blood can still clot when patients receive injuries such as cuts or wounds. Therefore, the clinic is available to regularly check patients' blood clotting ability to determine the proper amount of medication they should receive.
Each time a patient visits one of our clinics, a few drops of blood are taken from his or her finger for a prothrombin time, or PT, test. This test measures how quickly the blood clots. The PT is then converted to a standard unit called an international normalized ratio (INR).
Depending on the results of the PT/INR test, a patient's dose of warfarin may be adjusted to keep INR in a target range. Sickness, diet, other medications (prescription and over-the-counter) or physical activity may affect PT/INR. For this reason, anticoagulation patients need to tell their health care providers about changes in their health, medicines or lifestyle.
If a patient's warfarin dose is changed, he or she will be given new written instructions. It is important that patients keep an adequate supply of warfarin on hand at all times and always follow the dosage instructions from their most recent visit.
People taking anticoagulant medication should carry an identification card and/or wear a MedicAlert bracelet indicating that they are taking warfarin. It is also advisable to carry a list of all medications currently being taken along with their dosages.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about anticoagulants
Office Locations & Hours
Anticoagulation Clinic at Northwest Hospital | Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Outpatient Services, Main Hospital, 1st floor - Enter the hospital through the main entrance and proceed to the outpatient registration desk. Free parking is available in the visitor lot located on Carlson Lane.
Anticoagulation Clinic at Sinai Hospital | Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Hoffberger Building, 1st floor - Parking is available in the Belvedere Garage off West Belvedere Ave. Rates are posted at the entrance.
To make, cancel or reschedule an appointment, call the scheduling office at 410-521-8383.
If it is your first visit to the clinic for the month, bring your insurance cards and check in at the outpatient registration desk.