Sunday, February 11, 2018

AF and OAC in the ED

Resultado de imagen de canadian journal cardiology
Atzema C. Canadian Journal of Cardiology 2018, 34 (2): 125-131
"Atrial fibrillation is a frequent reason for presentation to an emergency department (ED), and the number of these visits are increasing. This creates an opportunity to improve the suboptimal rate of oral anticoagulation (OAC) use in patients with atrial fibrillation who are at high risk of stroke. However, there are very few data on whether OAC initiation in the ED, compared with referral to the longitudinal health care provider to initiate it, results in better long-term use. Moreover, for ethical and medicolegal reasons, physicians who initiate a chronic medication are obliged to reassess the patient at a later date, to check for medication side effects and the need for dose adjustment. More research is needed to determine whether OAC should be prescribed in the ED, by a physician who will never see the patient again. Patients who are cardioverted in the ED might be an exception, secondary to the increased risk of stroke after cardioversion. If ED OAC prescribing is associated with better outcomes, these results must be placed into context with the care and outcomes of the other patients in the ED. If there is a net benefit, the findings should be disseminated to practicing emergency physicians, preferably via emergency physician opinion leaders. An implementation science-based approach, which addresses the barriers to ED OAC prescribing (eg, the competing demands of running an ED and lack of guaranteed follow-up care after discharge from an ED), should be used to support prescribing of OAC in the ED. Potential solutions are described."