Stopping Anticoagulation and Antiplatelet Therapy For Patients and Providers
To our patients:
You are on a blood thinning medicine called _________________that prevents stroke, blood clots, and/or heart attack. There may be a time when you need to stop taking this drug if you will be having work done which might lead to bleeding. This may include: a dental visit, biopsy, minor or major surgery.
Ask the doctor or dentist if you will need to stop this blood thinner and for how long it should be stopped. If they want you to stop the above drug, please give them this note and tell them to contact the clinic that manages your blood thinner. You should also call the clinic that manages the blood thinner to tell them you will need to stop it for a short time.
To our patient’s doctor or dentist:
Your patient is being treated with an anti-thrombotic medicine. Refer to the UW Health guidelines below to decide if your patient needs to stop anti-thrombotic therapy prior to the procedure. These guidelines can be accessed at: www.uwhealth.org/anticoagulation. The guidelines may not apply to all patients and all cases.
When deciding if a patient should stop anti-thrombotic therapy or be bridged to another anticoagulant you should consider these factors:
• Indication for anticoagulation
• Patient’s individual risk for thrombosis or stroke if anti-thrombotic is stopped
• Thrombosis and bleeding risk of the procedure
• Duration needed for the patient to be off anti-thrombotic medicines
Please keep in mind there are some procedures where warfarin or aspirin may be continued since bleeding risk is considered low:
• Simple dental procedures – including extractions
• Cataract surgery
• Diagnostic or screening colonoscopies
• Minor cutaneous surgeries
Patients who have held their anti-thrombotic therapy and who have not been bridged with an alternative anticoagulant may be at an increased risk for thrombosis or stroke. It is appropriate to balance the thrombosis and stroke risk with the bleeding risks of the procedure.
If your patient is on anti-thrombotic therapy for stroke and followed by the UW Stroke Clinic, you may contact them to discuss the optimal balance for your patient.
• UW Stroke Clinic: (608) 265-8899: Mon-Fri 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
If your patient is on anti-thrombotic therapy for thrombosis or other related indications, you should contact the provider who prescribed the medicine to discuss the optimal balance for your patient. This may be the primary care provider, cardiologist or the UW Health Anticoagulation Clinic.
• UW Health Anticoagulation Clinic: (608) 263-8475:
Mon-Fri 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
• Primary Provider: ______________________ Phone: _____________
• Cardiologist: __________________________ Phone: _____________
Thank you in advance for coordinating with us in this way to help minimize the risk of complications for our shared patient.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 12/05/2012
Copyright © 12/05/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#6115
Print Health Fact For You