An observational study of direct oral anticoagulant awareness indicating inadequate recognition with potential for patient harm

A. Olaiya, B. Lurie, B. Watt, L. McDonald, M. Greaves, H. G. Watson*

*Corresponding author for this work

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    15 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Lack of awareness of the nature of the direct oral anticoagulants (DOACs) combined with the poor correlation between routine coagulation test prolongation and the activity of these drugs represents a potential for patient harm. Objectives: To establish the level of awareness of the different DOACs, and to assess whether prescribers were able to recognize the state of anticoagulation in a hypothetical patient. Methods and results: An electronic questionnaire was sent by email to prescribers in our health board. Among 143 respondents, we found significant differences in awareness of the currently licensed drugs. Of the respondents, 88%, 80% and 50%, respectively, recognized rivaroxaban, dabigatran, and apixaban. When provided with a routine clinical situation, only 13.5%, 17.5% and 16.8%, respectively, recognized that the hypothetical patient was anticoagulated, and only 55-58% recognized that it was unsafe to proceed with an invasive procedure. Conclusion: These results indicate a significant risk for patient harm related to lack of knowledge about this new group of frequently used drugs, and indicate that additional education and training on this subject are required.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)987-990
    Number of pages4
    JournalJournal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis
    Issue number5
    Early online date10 Feb 2016
    Publication statusPublished - May 2016


    • anticoagulants
    • apixaban
    • dabigatran
    • rivaroxaban
    • safety
    • factor XA inhibitor
    • coagulation assays
    • invasive procedures
    • liver-disease
    • routine

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