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Blood thinner medicines prescribed at discharge

  • Aspirin

    Your doctor may prescribe aspirin for you to take at home after you leave the hospital. Aspirin is a medicine used to help prevent blood clots. Your doctor will tell you how much aspirin you should take each day.

    Injections (shots)

    Your doctor may prescribe injections (shots) of medicine to prevent blood clots after surgery. He or she will help you learn how to give yourself injections, if prescribed.

    Warfarin (Coumadin® or Jantoven®)

    Your doctor may prescribe warfarin (Coumadin® or Jantoven®) for you to take at home after you leave the hospital. Warfarin is medicine used to prevent blood clots after surgery.

    The amount of warfarin you take is based on a lab test that measures the clotting ability of your blood. This test is called the INR (international normalized ratio). Certain medicines, illness, and foods may change the amount of warfarin you need.

    If you are prescribed warfarin, your health care team will monitor your warfarin doses and INR tests after you leave the hospital.

    Monitoring warfarin therapy after discharge

    • Home: If you are to return to your home with home health services, the home health nurse will see you about two times each week to draw your INR. These results will then be called to your health care team. Your health care team will tell you about any changes in your warfarin dose.
      If you do not use home health services, you will need to make arrangements to go to an outpatient medical lab to have your INR drawn. You will then work with your health care team, who will monitor your INR levels and manage your warfarin dosage.
    • Skilled nursing facility/short-term rehab center: If you are transferred to a skilled nursing facility/short-term rehab center, the pharmacist will monitor your warfarin therapy or help to arrange for the doctor caring for you at the skilled nursing facility/short-term rehab center to do so.
      When you are discharged from the rehab center, home health services or outpatient blood monitoring will be arranged by the skilled nursing facility/short-term rehab staff, if needed.

    Circulation therapy

    Your surgeon may prescribe circulation therapy for you to use at home. He or she will give you instructions for use.

    Circulation therapy helps to improve blood flow in your veins and prevent blood clots after surgery. It works by massaging and gently squeezing your calf. This increases the speed of blood flow in the veins and reduces the risk of a blood clot.