Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computers As Safe As Medical Experts In Prescribing Blood Thinning Drugs

Date:
June 19, 2008
Source:
University of Manchester
Summary:
The largest ever study into the administration of blood thinning drugs, principally warfarin, has concluded that dosages calculated by computer are at least as safe and reliable as those provided by expert medical professionals.

The largest ever study into the administration of blood thinning drugs, principally Warfarin, has concluded that dosages calculated by computer are at least as safe and reliable as those provided by expert medical professionals.

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 and a single patient’s response can change over the period of an illness. 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 prolongation of normal blood clotting – measured as the ‘international normalised ratio’ or INR – resulted in clinical benefit and improved safety.

But now results from the five-year clinical trial have shown that computer-assisted dosage is as good, if not better, at prescribing the correct dosage to prolong the INR in patients as dosages given by expert 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 co-ordinated the international team with its Central Facility at 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 not previously been established.”

The study was carried out in 32 medical centres across the European Union and associated countries involved more than 13,000 patients. It 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 reduction was not statistically significant, in the 3,209 patients with deep vein 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.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Manchester. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. L. Poller, M. Keown, S. Ibrahim, G. Lowe, M. Moia, A. G. Turpie, C. Roberts, A. M. H. P. Van Den Besselaar, F. J. M. Van Der Meer, A. Tripodi, G. Palareti, C. Shiach, S. Bryan, M. Samama, M. Burgess-wilson, A. Heagerty, P. Maccallum, D. Wright, J. Jespersen. An international multi-centre randomized study of computer-assisted oral anti-coagulant dosage vs. medical staff dosage. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 2008 DOI: 10.1111/j.1538-7836.2008.02959.x

Cite This Page:

University of Manchester. "Computers As Safe As Medical Experts In Prescribing Blood Thinning Drugs." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080618114703.htm>.
University of Manchester. (2008, June 19). Computers As Safe As Medical Experts In Prescribing Blood Thinning Drugs. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080618114703.htm
University of Manchester. "Computers As Safe As Medical Experts In Prescribing Blood Thinning Drugs." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080618114703.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins