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Computers as safe as medical experts in prescribing blood thinning drugs
Date:6/18/2008

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The study, published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 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."


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Contact: Mikaela Sitford
Mikaela.Sitford@manchester.ac.uk
01-612-752-111
University of Manchester
Source:Eurekalert

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