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Anticoagulation Therapy

If you have heart disease or problems with blood circulation, you may need anticoagulation, or blood-thinning, medications. At Virginia Mason Franciscan Health, you’ll find personalized outpatient therapy at our anticoagulation clinics throughout the Puget Sound area.

What is anticoagulation therapy?

Anticoagulation medications or “blood thinners” help prevent and stabilize harmful blood clots within blood vessels. When you are cut or injured, a blood clot forms to prevent excessive bleeding. This is a normal, necessary function.

For people with certain conditions, blood clots may form within blood vessels. If the clot breaks loose and travels to your lungs or brain, it could lead to serious medical problems.

Why is anticoagulation therapy important?

At the Anticoagulation Clinic, we monitor your therapy closely to help prevent problems with your blood coagulation. Coumadin (warfarin) is an anticoagulation medication, or “blood thinner,” that prevents harmful clots from forming or moving. Too much anticoagulation can lead to bleeding that will not stop, so it’s essential that your anticoagulation therapy is monitored to make sure the medication you take is having the appropriate effect. The amount of Coumadin (warfarin) that you take needs to be adjusted from time to time.

Our anticoagulation clinics

At our outpatient anticoagulation clinics, we help patients monitor their anticoagulation status and risk while taking blood-thinning medications such as Coumadin (warfarin). Our expert team has significant experience in caring for patients with conditions affecting the heart or vascular (blood vessel) system.

We offer a full range of anticoagulation services. We will:

  • Review your prescription and over-the-counter medications for potentially harmful drug interactions
  • Perform blood tests with same-day lab results
  • Communicate lab results to you and your physician
  • Adjust medication dosages, as needed
  • Provide education regarding blood thinners

Experts in anticoagulation therapy

The Anticoagulation Clinic is a service provided to all patients at Virginia Mason Franciscan Health taking oral anticoagulants (warfarin). The staff in the Anticoagulation Clinic consists of registered nurses and pharmacists. 

Our team works closely with your care provider to coordinate a personalized treatment plan. Our pharmacists have doctor of pharmacy degrees and specialized training in anticoagulation, chronic disease-state management and immunizations. They are experts in screening for potentially dangerous drug interactions, monitoring medications and adjusting dosing for personalized care.

For some patients on blood thinners, the WATCHMAN device and other alternative anticoagulation treatments are offered.