2020A06Describe how the effects of warfarin can be reversed when URGENT surgery is indicated (40%).
For each option discuss the advantages and disadvantages (60%).





         Vitamin K epoxide reductase inhibitor

Factors affected

(half life)

         Procoagulants: II (60h), VII (6h), IX (24h), X (36h)

         Anticoagulants: protein C (8h), protein S (30h)


Reversal considerations:


         Urgency of surgery

         Active bleeding

         Degree of reversal required (e.g. neuraxial vs superficial)


         INR is sensitive to factor VII (short t1/2) >> factor II (long t1/2)

         Hence INR will normalise before coagulation is restored

         Hence need INR 1.2 for safe neuraxial block after stopping warfarin
(source: ASRA guidelines)


Reversal options:


         i.e. drug washout -> regenerate Vit K -> regenerate clotting factors

         t1/2β 40 hours -> offset in 5 days

         ↑Duration if: Vit K deficient e.g. malnourished, CYP inhibitor (e.g. cimetidine), CYP competition e.g. amiodarone

         ↓Duration if: CYP inducer (e.g. barbiturates)

         Can operate immediately if a) low risk of bleeding b) benign consequences of bleeding c) easily compressible site

         Pro: ↓risk thrombotic events, less disruptive to patient

         Con: slow offset, ↑risk surgical bleeding

2.Vitamin K

         i.e. replenish substrate -> regenerate clotting factors

         PO 1-2mg for effect in 12-24 hours

         IV 5-10mg for effect in 6-12 hours

         Pro: fairly rapid reversal, obviates risks of blood products

         Con: insufficient if very high INR or if active bleeding, difficult to restart warfarin after a big dose of Vitamin K


         Contains all clotting factors

         IV 15-30mL/kg (or 2-4mL/kg if with prothrombinex)

         Also give Vit K to avoid rebound anticoagulation

         Pro: immediate

         Con: 15-30mL/kg = risk of TACO, risks of allogeneic transfusion


         Contains factors 2, 9, 10

         IV 25-50 units/kg

         Also give Vit K to avoid re-bound anticoagulation

         Pro: immediate, universally compatible

         Con: factor 7 absent in Australian PCC


         Contains active factor 7a, inactive factors 2,9,10

         IV 50-100 units/kg

         Also give Vit K to avoid rebound anticoagulation

         Pro: contains all deficient coag factors

         Con: less data for warfarin reversal


         Activated Factor 7a

         IV 50mcg/kg

         Given in addition to FFP and/or prothrombinex

         Only if persistent uncontrollable haemorrhage despite all other physiological, pharmacological and surgical efforts

         Pro: immediate

         Con: very expensive, short half life, high risk of thrombotic complications


Feedback welcome at ketaminenightmares@gmail.com