To the Editor: The article by Baker et al was a timely review of managing anticoagulation therapy and balancing the risks of thrombosis and bleeding.1 However, in managing anticoagulation therapy before non-cardiac surgery in patients with mechanical cardiac valve prostheses, the suggested 5-day cessation of warfarin therapy, with only subcutaneous heparin cover, is not appropriate. I have had three patients with mechanical bileaflet mitral prostheses develop valve thrombosis while under this protocol, two with a fatal outcome. I have also had one patient with a mechanical bileaflet aortic valve develop a popliteal arterial embolus requiring thrombectomy, despite being treated according to the protocol.
Publication of your online response is subject to the Medical Journal of Australia's editorial discretion. You will be notified by email within five working days should your response be accepted.