Improved Therapeutic Safety of Oral Anticoagulant Therapy in Germany: The Saarland Model
06 February 2008 (online)
In contrast to other European countries, in Germany more than 90% of oral anticoagulated patients are controlled by general practitioners. The International Normalized Ratio (INR) system in laboratory control is not in widespread use, often leading to misinterpretations of prothrombin time (PT) measurements. To improve the management of anticoagulated patients, a model was developed, consisting of different questionnaires and on the base of the INR system. Since 1993, 60 patients in our Department's outpatient anticoagulant clinic and since 1996 16 patients in the office of a general practitioner were followed for 146.32 patient years. There were no thromboembolic events and no major bleedings during follow-up. A total of 126 minor bleedings occurred in 30 patients. There were no significant differences in INR values and stable phases between the two centers; however, significantly shorter stable phases in patients with bleeding episodes were noted. Thus, this model seems to be useful also in general practitioners' hands.
Oral anticoagulation - clinical control - parameter of efficiency - INR - bleeding - thromboembolism