Antiplatelet medications have long been the mainstay for secondary prevention in cardiovascular disorders. More recently, with the advent of coronary stents, there has been an increased use of more potent antiplatelet agents to prevent stent occlusion. Since these drugs are antithrombotic, it is not unusual for them to be associated with serious bleeding, particularly intracranial and gastrointestinal haemorrhage. There are no robust guidelines on how to manage these clinical situations, although there have been some important studies published recently in this area. Similarly, there is very limited evidence on how to manage urgent surgery in patients receiving these medications. In this review, we provide updated guidance on the management of bleeding and surgery on antiplatelet drugs while stressing the need for further studies to provide evidence-based guidelines.
Keywords: Anaesthesia; Antiplatelet; Aspirin; Bleeding; Clopidogrel; Prasugrel; Surgery; Ticagrelor.
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