Welcome to The Platelet Inhibitors Source, an interactive web site designed for physicians and other health care personnel who want information on managing patients who receive platelet inhibitors and require cardiac surgery.
Platelet inhibitors are a broad spectrum of pharmaceutical agents whose use is rapidly growing in cardiovascular medicine. The glycoprotein (GP) IIb/IIIa receptor antagonists and clopidogrel (Plavix) have assumed a pivotal role in cardiology and clinical medicine, and at the same time pose a challenge, not only for the cardiac surgical team, but also for all the physicians, perfusionists, and other health care personnel involved in their management. We are still learning how to effectively manage these patients for cardiac surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass. There is a fundamental paradox between the need to prevent coronary thrombosis in these patients and the need for therapeutic hemostasis at surgical sites or other sites of vascular injury. The most important complication of platelet inhibitor therapy is bleeding. We will explore important issues in managing these patients for cardiac surgery.
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