Why the Sudden-Onset Bruising in a Previously Stable Warfarin Patient?

Douglas S. Paauw, MD


December 12, 2014

A Whole Lot of Bruising Going On

A 72-year-old man is your last patient of the day. He is visiting his daughter, a patient of yours, who asks you to see him.

The patient reports that 2 years previously, he underwent successful aortic valve replacement for aortic stenosis. He is maintained on warfarin 5 mg daily; his last international normalized ratio (INR) was obtained 3 weeks ago and was 3.0. His other long-term medications include albuterol inhaler 2 puffs 4 times daily and nortriptyline 25 mg at bedtime. He states that he saw a physician 6 days ago for a cough and was put on a medication described as a "white tablet." When asked to be more specific, he said "a large white tablet."

Today the patient presents with new-onset widespread bruising on his back and legs, and some additional bruises on the backs of both hands.


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