Oral Anticoagulants and Nonvalvular A-fib: A Balancing Act

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Although accreditation for this CE/CME activity has expired, and the posttest is no longer available, you can still read the full article.

Expires February 29, 2016

Patients with nonvalvular atrial fibrillation (A-fib) have a fivefold greater risk for ischemic stroke than those without. Newer oral anticoagulants reduce this risk—but also increase risk for serious bleeding, including intracranial hemorrhage. Here are the evidence-based guidelines to help you make the choice that’s best for your patient.



CE/CME No: CR-1502

Earn credit by reading this article and successfully completing the posttest and evaluation. Successful completion is defined as a cumulative score of at least 70% correct.

• Describe the presenting signs and symptoms of atrial fibrillation (A-fib).
• Define the differential and tests for diagnosing A-fib.
• Identify the risk factors associated with A-fib.
• Discuss the anticoagulant treatment options for nonvalvular A-fib.
• List aspects of A-fib management about which patients benefit from clinician instruction.

Deedra Harrington, Janis R. Guilbeau, and Christy McDonald Lenahan are Assistant Professors in the College of Nursing and Allied Health Professions at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Dr. Harrington is also a cardiology intensivist nurse practitioner at the Heart Hospital of Lafayette. The authors have no significant financial relationships to disclose.


This program has been reviewed and is approved for a maximum of 1.0 hour of American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Category 1 CME credit by the Physician Assistant Review Panel. [NPs: Both ANCC and the AANP Certification Program recognize AAPA as an approved provider of Category 1 credit.] Approval is valid for one year from the issue date of February 2015.

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