Anticoagulants are blood thinners often used to reduce or prevent blood clotting among patients who suffer from or are at risk for thrombosis or other circulatory disorders. The thinners may be used to treat cardiovascular disease or even to prevent stroke. However, anticoagulants are complex medications that, while highly effective for treating certain types of cardiovascular disease, present risks to patients undergoing anticoagulant therapy.
A physician must carefully monitor the administration of anticoagulants in order to ensure patient safety and to improve patient outcome. In some cases, anticoagulation management is performed on an outpatient basis, whereas in others the supervision is necessary in an inpatient setting.