This study aimed to ascertain otolaryngologists’ current knowledge of new (e.g. apixaban, rivaroxaban) and old (e.g. warfarin) anticoagulant medications, and to provide an educational overview of new anticoagulants for use by surgeons.
A questionnaire survey was distributed across the Wessex region, UK, to ascertain the levels of knowledge of and confidence in managing patients taking various anticoagulants. In total, 50 questionnaires were completed (41 by trainees and 9 by consultants). A literature review of new anticoagulant medications was then conducted.
In general, there was poor clinical and pharmacokinetic knowledge of newly licensed anticoagulant medications. Respondents were more confident in the use of older vs newer forms of anticoagulants. This was true across all grades of doctors, but particularly at the senior level. All respondents stated that they would like to see an educational resource on anticoagulants.
Knowledge of newly licensed anticoagulation medications is poor. This study has produced an educational resource for the management of anticoagulant agents. A thorough knowledge of these drugs is essential for the acute management of bleeding patients and in peri-operative surgical planning.
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