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Operating without interrupting warfarin reduces risk of bleeding after cardiac device surgery
Date:5/10/2013

DENVER, May 9, 2013 A new Canadian study shows that operating without interrupting warfarin treatment at the time of cardiac device surgery is safe and markedly reduces the incidence of clinically significant hematomas compared to the current standard of care. The new findings were released today at Heart Rhythm 2013, the Heart Rhythm Society's 34th Annual Scientific Sessions, and will be published online today in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

At least a quarter of patients that require pacemaker or implantable defibrillator surgery are taking warfarin to reduce the risk of a stroke. Current guidelines recommend bridging many of these patients to heparin treatment and stopping anticoagulation therapy in the days leading up to surgery which can put a patient at risk of a stroke. The Bruise Control trial is the largest randomized clinical trial to compare continuing warfarin to temporary cessation with heparin bridging in patients before and after device surgery.

"We hope that Bruise Control will change how we are treating patients around the world," said lead author David Birnie, MD, Director of the Arrhythmia Service at the University of Ottawa Heart Institute, Canada. "Our study conclusively shows that treating patients with a high risk of stroke with continued warfarin instead of heparin bridging will improve patient outcomes, decrease complications and reduce hospitalization."

Bruise Control randomized 681 patients at 17 Canadian and 1 Brazilian center with a less than 5 percent annual risk of thrombo-embolic events. One group received continued warfarin, while the other patients were bridged to therapeutic doses of either intravenous heparin or subcutaneous low-molecular-weight heparin starting three days before the procedure and resuming 24 hours after surgery. Patients were evaluated after surgery and the study found that clinically significant hematomas were 80 percent less frequent in patients t
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Contact: Vincent Lamontagne
vlamontagne@ottawaheart.ca
613-761-4427
University of Ottawa Heart Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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