ACT: Activated Clotting Time, is a test that is used primarily to monitor high doses of unfractionated (standard) heparin therapy.

During surgery, the ACT is kept above a lower time limit, a limit at which most people will not form blood clots. It is important to evaluate how the person is responding to this ACT lower limit and to the amount of heparin that person is being given.

The amount of heparin needed to reach and maintain a certain ACT (for instance, 300 seconds) will vary as will the body’s clotting potential at that ACT. After surgery, the ACT may be maintained within a narrow range (for instance, 175 – 225 seconds) until the person has stabilized.

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