Patients who undergo the cardiac implant procedure take a daily anticoagulant medication such as aspirin or warfarin (Coumadin) for three to six months after the procedure.
If the patient is taking anticoagulant medications, vitamin K supplements are not recommended, and foods high in vitamin K are limited, since they counteract the action of the medication.
Anticoagulant medications, including heparin or warfarin and low-dose aspirin, may be prescribed to prevent existing blood clots from enlarging and to prevent the formation of new clots.
Children who have had a valve replaced must take an anticoagulant medication, usually warfarin (Coumadin), in order to minimize the possibility of a clot forming on the prosthetic valve.
If the cardiac catheterization indicates that a closure device would be an effective treatment, an anticoagulant medication, is given intravenously to reduce the risk of blood clot.
Researchers agree that further studies are needed to determine the proper dosage and effectiveness of aspirin and other anticoagulant medications for treating stroke in children.
If an anticoagulant medication has been prescribed, it is important to keep all scheduled laboratory appointments so the effectiveness of the medication can be evaluated.
If a cause was identified, the underlying condition should be treated, and anticoagulant or low-dose aspirin therapy may be initiated, depending on the child's diagnosis.
Hemophiliacs should also avoid medications or drugs that promote bleeding; aspirin is one such medication and many prescription drugs have anticoagulant properties.
Researchers agree that more studies are needed to determine the proper dosage and effectiveness of aspirin and other anticoagulant medications in children.