BMC Hematol. 2015 Dec 24;15:18. doi: 10.1186/s12878-015-0039-z. eCollection 2015.
BACKGROUND: Direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) are now standard of care for the management of thromboembolic risk. A prevalent issue of concern is how to manage direct oral anticoagulant (DOAC)-associated bleeding for which there is no specific antidote available for clinical use. We conducted a retrospective case series to describe the Toronto, Canada multicenter experience with bleeding from dabigatran or rivaroxaban. METHODS: Retrospective chart review of DOAC bleeding necessitating referral to hematology and/or transfusion medicine services at five large University of Toronto affiliated academic hospitals from January 2011 to December 2013. RESULTS: Twenty-six patients with DOAC bleeding were reviewed; 42 % bleeds intracranial and 50 %, gastrointestinal. All patients had at least one risk factor associated with DOAC bleeding reported in previous studies. Inconsistent bleed management strategies were evident. Median length of hospital stay was 11 days (1-90). Five thromboembolic events occurred after transfusion based-hemostatic therapy and there were six deaths. CONCLUSIONS:
Management of DOAC bleeding is variable. Clinical trial data regarding DOAC reversal is needed to facilitate optimization and standardization of bleeding treatment algorithms.
BACKGROUND: Emergency physicians make treatment decisions in patients who present to the emergency department (ED) with acute venous thromboembolism (VTE). They also encounter patients on target-specific oral anticoagulants (TSOACs) who require urgent intervention. New approvals and increasing prescriptions for TSOACs (e.g., apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, and rivaroxaban) for the management of several thromboembolic disorders warrant an evaluation of the impact of these agents in the ED setting. OBJECTIVE OF THE REVIEW: This review discusses the use of TSOACs in the ED for the treatment of acute VTE, and highlights strategies for the management of patients on TSOACs who present to the ED with other complications, such as bleeding complications or requiring emergency surgery. DISCUSSION: Apixaban, dabigatran, edoxaban, and rivaroxaban have been approved for the treatment of acute VTE. We discuss the impact of this on ED management of TSOAC-naïve patients and highlight results with TSOACs in high-risk subgroups including the elderly and those with prior VTE or active cancer. This review also discusses management strategies for patients on TSOACs. For emergency physicians, strategies for the management of bleeding, approaches to patient care when emergency surgery is needed, laboratory assays for measuring plasma concentrations of TSOACs, and drug-drug interactions are of special importance. CONCLUSIONS: Familiarity with TSOACs will better position emergency physicians to provide state-of-the art care to their patients with VTE and help them manage potentially complicated circumstances related to the chronic use of these drugs.