Evaluation of Education on the Appropriate Use of Vitamin K in Warfarin Reversal in Adult Inpatients

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Vitamin K (phytonadione) is a commonly used first-line reversal agent for vitamin K antagonist (VKA) therapy in patients presenting with a supratherapeutic international normalized ratio (INR) with or without significant bleeding or in patients with a therapeutic INR in need of surgery. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of education on the appropriate use of vitamin K for VKA reversal.


Data were collected on patients admitted to a community teaching hospital during February 2010 (pre-education group). These data were analyzed to determine the most common guideline deviations in vitamin K use. Following this analysis, pharmacist education took place in the form of in-service presentations; a protocol, including a guideline-based dosing table, was developed to assist pharmacists in evaluating vitamin K therapy. Data were then collected on patients admitted during February 2011 (post-education group).


Forty patients and 47 vitamin K administrations were included in the pre-education group, and 34 patients and 49 vitamin K administrations were included in the post-education group. The number of patients with appropriate vitamin K administrations improved after pharmacist education (25% pre-education vs 55.8% post-education; P = .01). Whereas 27.6% of individual vitamin K administrations were appropriate in the pre-education group, this increased to 63.2% in the post-education group (P = .04).


Education techniques on the appropriate use of vitamin K for VKA reversal significantly improved compliance with standards of care for proper use of vitamin K. Additional education sessions are necessary to further increase compliance with standards of care and subsequently optimize patient care.

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