Semin Vasc Med 2003; 03(3): 279-284
DOI: 10.1055/s-2003-44464
Copyright © 2003 by Thieme Medical Publishers, Inc., 333 Seventh Avenue, New York, NY 10001, USA. Tel.: +1(212) 584-4662

Management of Excessive Anticoagulation or Bleeding

Michael Makris
  • Department of Haematology, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield, United Kingdom
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
21 November 2003 (online)


The number of patients anticoagulated with warfarin has rapidly increased over the last decade. Approximately 1% of these patients experience serious bleeding and 0.5% die annually from bleeding. The management of hemorrhage in the overanticoagulated patient is complex and is based on balancing the risks and benefits of each therapeutic intervention. For life-threatening bleeding, the use of clotting factor concentrates is essential for immediate anticoagulation reversal, whereas for less severe bleeding intravenous vitamin K is the treatment of choice. Vitamin K (by the intravenous or oral route) should also be used in overanticoagulated patients who are not actively bleeding but who are at high risk of doing so if their anticoagulation is not, at least partially, corrected.


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