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Researchers at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton have discovered that the popular process of switching blood thinning medications for patients undergoing surgery is ultimately unnecessary.

Traditionally, patients regularly taking blood thinners stop taking blood thinning medication a few days before and after surgery. They would then receive short-acting heparin injections as a “bridging therapy” – with the belief that switching to heparin would prevent potential blood clots, strokes and other complications around the time of surgery.

This new study proves that this common practice of “bridging” is ineffective, and actually subjects patients to a higher risk of major bleeding.

The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, is led by a number of Hamilton physicians including Dr. James Douketis, a physician at St. Joe's.

Head to the Hamilton Spectator to read more about this study.

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