Two studies appearing in the July 15 edition of Academic Emergency Medicine outline a new approach to treating potentially fatal deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism that the authors say is both more effective and less expensive than current therapies for the conditions. The present treatment for diagnoses of blood clots is hospital admission for administration of the injectable anticoagulant heparin and oral warfarin followed by close monitoring over several days for dosage adjustment and clot recurrence or bleeding. Warfarin therapy carries the additional requirement for careful control of vitamin K, found in green leafy vegetables. In one study, conducted by researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine, 106 low-risk patients were treated instead with rivaroxaban, which does not require daily blood monitoring, and released to go home.
The study found that these patients, who were treated with rivaroxaban and immediately discharged from the hospital, experience a low rate of recurrent thrombosis and bleeding. Avoidance of a protracted hospital stay constitutes a better life experience for the patient, according to the authors. Additionally, in a second study comparing the cost associated with the new and the traditional treatment protocols, the team found that the rivaroxaban protocol resulted in about half the cost of hospitalization and treatment with heparin and warfarin.
Read more about the findings here.
The journal abstract, with link to the full article, may be read here.