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Keeping the blood flowing

Memorial’s anticoagulation clinic helps patients manage blood levels.

A number of people who have pacemakers to manage arrhythmias may also be treated with anticoagulation medications such as warfarin (Coumadin), a drug that saves lives by thinning blood to reduce clotting.

“In people with cardiovascular disease, blood can pool and form clots in the upper chambers of the heart or other areas of the body,” says Kelly Groth, lead pharmacist and manager of anticoagulation management services at Memorial. “Blood clots can result in heart attack, stroke or even death.”

Warfarin needs to be administered properly not only to keep blood flowing, but also to allow blood to clot when necessary, like when a person gets cut or has surgery. Memorial’s anticoagulation clinic includes a group of specially trained pharmacists who help patients manage blood levels through medication management and lifestyle guidance.

“We see patients once a month, and in most cases treat them for life,” Groth says. “They become a part of the family.”

To better accommodate its more than 900 patients, averaging 1,200 visits per month, the clinic will move to the lower level of Memorial’s North Star Lodge Cancer Center this summer. North Star Lodge has more space, abundant parking and a beautiful environment for patient care.
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