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Perioperative Management of Anticoagulation

Current estimates indicate that 2 to 3 million Americans take anticoagulants for prevention of thromboembolism from venous thromboembolism, atrial fibrillation, or prosthetic heart valves. Invasive procedures are performed in as many as 250 000 patients taking anticoagulants on an annual basis in the United States. Consequently, management of anticoagulants in the perioperative period is a common and vexing challenge for physicians. Because not all patients are at the same risk of thromboembolism and not all procedures are associated with the same risk of bleeding, it is important for hospitalists to know how to weigh these risks in their patients. The purpose of this module is to review risk stratification for thromboembolism and bleeding associated with different thromboembolic disorders and invasive procedures.
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