Anticoagulants may be safer than thought in brain injury

No difference seen in mortality between coagulated and uncoagulated patients undergoing neurosurgery

Anticoagulants may be safer than previously thought in older patients with fall-related traumatic brain injury, new research suggests.

The surprising finding comes from US research that examined the hospital records of patients aged over 65 who had been admitted to level 1-3 trauma centres with 24-hour neurosurgical care after a low-level fall.

The researchers extracted data to see which of the patients were on warfarin or a non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulant (NOAC) at the time of the fall.

Overall 700 patients were included in the study, of whom 523 were not on anticoagulants at the time of their fall.

Of the 177 who were on anticoagulants, 141 took warfarin and 36 took NOACs, including