Background: The global burden of cardiovascular disease (CVD) is forecast to increase, and anticoagulants will remain important medicines for its management. Coroners' Prevention of Future Death reports (PFDs) provide valuable insights that may enable safer and more effective use of these agents. Aim: To identify CVD-related PFDs involving anticoagulants. Design & setting: Case series of coronial reports in England and Wales between 2013 and 2019. Method: A total of 3037 PFDs were screened for eligibility. PFDs were included where CVD and an anticoagulant caused or contributed to the death. Included cases were descriptively analysed and content analysis was used to assess concerns raised by coroners and who had responded to them. Results: The study identified 113 CVD-related PFDs involving anticoagulants. Warfarin (36%, n = 41), enoxaparin (11%, n = 12), and rivaroxaban (11%, n = 12) were the most common anticoagulants reported. Concerns most frequently raised by coroners included poor systems (31%), poor communication (25%), and failures to keep accurate medical records (25%). These concerns were most often directed to NHS trusts (29%), hospitals (10%), and general practices (8%). Nearly two-thirds (60%) of PFDs had not received responses from such organisations, which are mandatory under regulation 28 of the Coroners' (Investigations) Regulations 2013. A publicly available tool has been created by the authors (https://preventabledeathstracker.net), which displays coroners' reports in England and Wales to streamline access, and identify important lessons to prevent future deaths. Conclusion: National organisations, healthcare professionals, and prescribers should take actions to address the concerns of coroners in PFDs to improve the safe use of anticoagulants in patients with CVD.
Anis, A., Heneghan, C., Aronson, J. K., DeVito, N. J., & Richards, G. C. (2022). Deaths from cardiovascular disease involving anticoagulants: a systematic synthesis of coroners’ case reports. BJGP Open, 6(1), 1–12. https://doi.org/10.3399/BJGPO.2021.0150
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