The Real-World Treatment of Hemorrhages Associated With Dabigatran and Rivaroxaban: A Multicenter Evaluation

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Adoption of the target-specific oral anticoagulants (TSOACs) has been slow; accordingly, lack of guidance for emergent reversal confounded by the need for “direct” reversal agents has contributed significantly to warfarin entrenchment in the medical community. The purpose of this analysis is to provide real-world experiences regarding the management of the hemorrhaging patient secondary to dabigatran and rivaroxaban.


Retrospective review of patients admitted with a hemorrhage secondary to dabigatran or rivaroxaban were evaluated. Descriptive statistics were utilized for analysis.


Four hundred forty-four patients were screened for inclusion into the study; notably, 419 (94%) of the patients were excluded because the bleed was secondary to warfarin therapy. Of those included in this analysis (n = 25), gastrointestinal bleeding accounted for 21 events (84%), followed by intracranial (n = 2; 8%) and epistaxis (n = 2; 8%). Two patients (8%) expired during admission and 6 patients (24%) expired within 6 months after discharge from the hospital. Three (12%) minor bleeds, 7 (28%) major bleeds, and 15 (60%) life-threatening bleeds were identified. Minor bleeds required careful monitoring, supportive care, and cessation of anticoagulation therapy, whereas increasing severity required multiple interventions with prothrombin complex concentrate, recombinant activated factor 7, fresh frozen plasma, packed red blood cells, cryoprecipitate, and platelets.


The approach to the management of bleeding events borne from TSOACs has proven to be very heterogeneous. In the midst of this observation period, these facilities developed protocols, which created a stratification of bleeds and a more regimented approach to managing them. Although bleeding is less with new agents, the creation of pathways/algorithms for the management of TSOACs and education regarding clinical decision-making may be beneficial for the expeditious and appropriate management when these events arise.

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