Patients underestimate risk of warfarin emergencies | Heart and Vascular Health |

Long-term users of warfarin (coumadin, a blood thinner) had difficulty recognizing the clinical severity and urgency of anticoagulation-related situations such as stroke symptoms and medication mismanagement.

69% of patients correctly answered questions about warfarin.  More than 50% of respondents correctly identified four of six urgent risk scenarios: acute chest pain (95%), taking the wrong dose of warfarin for a week or more (79%), head trauma (56%), and sudden headache (87%). Just 25% of respondents, however, recognized the urgency of acute unilateral vision loss as a possible sign of stroke and 20% recognized the urgency of a hit or bump on the head for bleeding risk.