Anticoagulation care and research now in centralized facility

The CETAC team
The CETAC team raises awareness at World Thrombosis Day. Front row from left: Dr. Maral Koolian, Thrombosis Physician; Thrombosis Clinical Nurse Carla Strulovitch, CETAC Team Leader; Assistant Carole Bohbot; Gisele Diendere, Research Coordinator; Maryam Ebrahimi, Research Manager and Mariya Budanova, CETAC Administrator. Rear row, from left: Thrombosis Physician Dr. Mark Blostein, Director of Anticoagulation Clinic; Thrombosis Physician Dr. Susan Kahn, Director; Elena Shulikovsky, Research Coordinator; Dr. Vicky Tagalakis, Thrombosis Physician; David Morrison, Research Coordinator; Moira D’Adderio, Thrombosis Clinic Assistant.

The Jewish General Hospital’s Centre of Excellence in Thrombosis and Anticoagulation Care celebrated its brand new facility with an open house on World Thrombosis Day in October. Patients met with leading experts—both physicians and researchers—to learn about the effects of blood clots and risk factors for developing this potentially serious condition.

The newly renovated facility creates a unified area for treating and managing blood-clotting disorders and for providing anticoagulation care, says Dr. Susan Kahn, Director of both the Centre of Excellence and the JGH Thrombosis Program.

Since its inception in 2012, the Centre’s offices and other facilities had been scattered in various hospital locations, including the Department of Epidemiology in Pavilion H and the Anticoagulation and Thrombosis Clinics in Pavilion E.

Raising awareness about blot-clotting disorders at the Jewish General Hospital on World Thrombosis Day.
Raising awareness about blot-clotting disorders at the Jewish General Hospital on World Thrombosis Day.

Adding urgency to the Centre’s development is the fact that pulmonary embolisms—blood clots that migrate into the lungs—are responsible for more deaths each year than breast cancer, HIV and motor vehicle accidents combined. Along with deep-vein thrombosis (clots that form in the veins of the legs), they’re the most common cardiovascular condition, after heart attacks and strokes. “Such serious health issues need to be addressed in a global fashion, within a comprehensive facility,” says Dr. Kahn.

She adds that greater attention also needs to be paid to the rapidly increasing number of anticoagulants (blood thinners), so that patients and physicians alike are aware of the drugs’ benefits, but also their potentially dangerous side-effects in certain circumstances. From a research perspective, the search is on for better anticoagulants, with efforts underway to discover safer approaches without sacrificing effectiveness.

Dr. Kahn estimates that on any given day, roughly 60 to 65 per cent of JGH in-patients receive some form of blood-thinning medication, and that patients make about 16,000 visits per year to the Anticoagulation Clinic.

The Centre’s renovated space features:

  • a brighter, airier setting, thanks to improved lighting and better windows
  • a large clinical space, with comfortable reception, waiting and examining areas that allow patients to move from one step to the next with greater efficiency
  • facilities that place clinicians, residents, multi-disciplinary professionals, researchers and students in close proximity to one another, enhancing knowledge exchange and collaboration
  • a greater number of examining rooms—a benefit not only to patients, but to the activities of the JGH-based McGill University Thrombosis Fellowship

“CETAC will play a vital role in lessening thrombosis-related mortality and morbidity, and also help improve the quality of life of those living with these disorders,” Dr. Kahn said.