Increasing evidence of the value of these anticoagulant drugs in a wide range of clinical disorders such as abnormal heart rhythm, or atrial fibrillation, has led to a rapid rise in their use around the world.
However, prescribing the right oral dose of anticoagulant to patients, even for experienced medical staff, can be problematic as individuals differ greatly in response to a given dose: too high a dose for an individual and the blood becomes too thin and can lead to internal bleeding, too low and the blood clots too readily.
Previous studies supporting the use of computer-assisted dosage have depended solely on laboratory results and have not been sufficiently large to determine whether observed improvements in normal blood clotting time – known as the ‘international normalised ratio’ or INR – resulted in clinical benefit and improved safety.
But now results from a four-year clinical trial organised from The University of Manchester have shown that computer-assisted dosage is as good, if not better, at prescribing the correct dosage to normalise and maintain the correct INR in patients as dosages given by medical professionals.
“The need for computer assistance arises from the massive demand for oral anticoagulants following their success at treating an increasing number of thrombotic and embolic conditions,” said Professor Leon Poller, who headed the research in Manchester’s Faculty of Life Sciences.
“This increased demand has been overwhelming and stretched medical facilities worldwide to their limits. Computer dosage was introduced as a way to meet this demand but its safety and effectiveness had never been established.”
The study, carried out in 32 medical centres across the European Union and involving more than 13,000 patients, analysed nearly 400,000 INR tests, divided evenly between manual and computer-assisted dosage.
The percentage of manual tests to give the correct INR was 64.7%, compared to 65.9% for computer-assisted dosage, confirming the effectiveness of the two programs tested by the team.
In terms of safety, the number of INR tests that resulted in clinical complications was 7.6% lower in all clinical groups with computer-assisted dosage, dispelling any safety concerns.
Indeed, while this overall figure may not be deemed significant, in the 3,208 patients with deep vain thrombosis or pulmonary embolism, the number of clinical events following treatment were significantly lower for computer dosage – 9.1 per 100 patient-years with medical staff dosage was reduced to 6.1 in the computer arm.
“The results are even more impressive when you consider that the comparisons were made against medical professionals based at centres that specialised in prescribing oral anticoagulants,” said Professor Poller.
“At the very least, our study confirms the clinical safety and effectiveness of computer-assisted dosage using the two systems we tested and should help to bring relief to overstretched medical professionals while providing reassurance to patients.”
Aeron Haworth | alfa
The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope
23.10.2017 | University at Buffalo
Scientists track ovarian cancers to site of origin: Fallopian tubes
23.10.2017 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
23.10.2017 | Event News
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
23.10.2017 | Life Sciences
23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine