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The Heart Institute

Anticoagulation Clinic

The Anticoagulation Clinic is a service provided to all patients at Virginia Mason taking oral anticoagulants (warfarin). The purpose of anticoagulants is to slow down the body's own clotting process, thereby minimizing the risk of blood clots forming in certain high risk conditions.

To be effective, warfarin must be administered to maintain a prescribed level of anticoagulation (measured by a blood test called a "protime/lNR"). Close monitoring of warfarin is required to maintain and not exceed this level of anticoagulation. Excessive anticoagulation could potentially put the patient at risk for unnecessary bleeding complications.

The staff in the Anticoagulation Clinic consists of registered nurses (RNs) and pharmacists, whose responsibility it is to ensure a safe and prescribed level of anticoagulation are maintained. The staff works together with the physician, patient and involved family members to manage this portion of the patient's care.

Blood tests are done at least once a month and warfarin dosage is adjusted, as needed. Anticoagulation clinics are located at Virginia Mason Hospital & Seattle Medical Center in downtown Seattle and at medical centers in Bellevue, Lynnwood, BainbridgeKirklandIssaquah and Federal Way. For questions about the Anticoagulation Clinic in Seattle, please call (206) 223-6664.

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