An 80-year-old woman with long-standing hypertension was found to have an irregular pulse when her blood pressure was checked. She felt well and had no symptoms at all.

a) Why was she likely to have atrial fibrillation? (3 marks)

b) What test can be done to confirm that she had atrial fibrillation? (1 marks)

Her doctor started her on warfarin.

c) What was the purpose of warfarin in her case? (2 marks)

d) What are the important points she needed to know about warfarin? (7 marks)

She had seen an advertisement about a new type of blood-thinning drug, which was said to be better than warfarin.

e) How do these new oral anticoagulants work? (3 marks)

f) List FOUR advantages of these new oral anticoagulants over warfarin from the patient’s point of view. (4 marks)

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