Bleeding because of excessive anticoagulation is a well-recognized complication of coumadin therapy. In cases of potentially life-threatening bleeding such as intracranial haemorrhage, reversal of anticoagulation should be carried out as soon as possible. Here we report the case of an emergency patient in whom excessive anticoagulation was diagnosed at the scene by emergency medical service personnel through the use of a point-of-care coagulometer. Following hospital admission, findings were confirmed by central laboratory assessment of prothrombin time. The time gained through the use of portable coagulometers may contribute to improved pre-hospital emergency management of anticoagulated patients.
Key words: anticoagulation, bedside testing, warfarin, haemorrhage