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Blog articles are provided as informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute medical advice. Medication protocols are subject to patient’s medical provider’s authorization.

 

Hospice goals of care focus on optimizing comfort and quality of life, rather than treatment and prevention. Anticoagulation therapy and monitoring are not aligned with comfort and quality of life, and can cause harm from bleeding. Anticoagulation does not provide comfort or control symptoms. For these reasons, anticoagulation is frequently discontinued.

 There is a single, serious reason why anticoagulants are commonly discontinued in hospice: potentially serious (or sometimes deadly) bleeding.

 However, taking an anticoagulant does not mean you are going to bleed. Taking an anticoagulant increases your bleed risk. And other factors can additionally increase your risk of bleeding while taking an anticoagulant. The more bleeding risk factors a patient has, the more reasons why an anticoagulant should be stopped. Typically, hospice patients have many risk factors for bleeding.

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