Anticoagulation Management

Upson’s Coumadin Clinic, also called the Anticoagulation Clinic, serves patients who are taking blood thinners to help prevent the formation of blood clots. Blood Thinners are prescribed for a variety of conditions, and regular monitoring and adjustments are necessary to make sure each condition is appropriately treated.

The primary purpose of the Anti-Coagulation Clinic is to improve patients' quality of care, education and compliance by providing safe, predictable and effective management of anticoagulation.

Patients must be referred to the clinic by the physician who prescribes the blood thinners or who serves as the patient's primary care provider. The clinic works in close contact with any referring healthcare providers to ensure that patients on these medicines are closely followed in an effort to reduce the risk of complications, such as bleeding, from the medicine.

Patients who are referred for care by Upson’s Clinic are anticoagulated with Coumadin (warfarin sodium). This blood thinner requires regular blood testing of the International Normalized Ratio (INR) level. This blood test tells the healthcare provider how much or how little the medicine is working to prevent blood clots.

Upson provides INR testing using state-of-the-art instruments. The INR test usually requires only a simple finger stick blood draw, and the result is available within seconds. A bleeding risk assessment is conducted, education is provided, and adjustment of medicine dosing, if necessary, is determined. Prior to leaving the office, patients are provided with written instructions about what was discussed during the visit, and when to return for future testing.

The Anticoagulation Clinic is staffed by pharmacists at Upson Regional Medical Center in Thomaston.


Hours of Operation

  • Thursday 8a-3p.

Before You Arrive

  • You will need a physician referral.
  • You will need an appointment.
  • Bring your insurance information to every visit.
  • If you cannot keep your scheduled appointment, please call the clinic as soon as possible.


Your Visit

  • Please arrive at least 15 minutes early for your first appointment to provide time for registration. Your first visit will usually last 45 minutes, but following visits normally will be 10-15 minutes.
  • On your first visit, bring all of your medications, including over-the-counter medicines and vitamins.
  • Inform the clinic of any changes in your health, medicine or lifestyle.
  • Inform the clinic of any missed or extra doses of warfarin.
  • A pharmacist will determine how "thick or thin" your blood is by using a finger-stick test.
  • If your dose of warfarin needs changing, the change will be discussed with you. You will be given written instructions of your new dose.
  • Your physician will receive a report of the results.
  • The pharmacist will answer any questions you may have.



  • Two parking spaces designated “Anticoagulation Clinic” are available on the West Gordon St. side of the hospital.
  • For vehicle assistance, security may be called from the Auxiliary desk located at the front entrance of the hospital, and the telephone operator's station located in the emergency room entrance of the hospital.


Directions to ACC

  • The ACC is located on the first floor of the hospital next to Imaging. 
  • Employees can help you with directions to the ACC, if needed.
  • From the front entrance of the hospital, take the elevators to the second floor.
  • The ACC is located closest to West Gordon St and the Hightower Library.



  • Shelley Abernathy, Pharm.D.
  • Pamela Aiken, R.Ph.
  • Stephanie Weed, Pharm.D.
  • David McSwain, R.Ph.


Contact the Clinic:

  • Phone: 706-648-3784
  • Fax: 706-646-3258


Emergency Room

The physicians, nurses and staff at Upson’s Emergency Department are uniquely qualified to provide care in an emergency setting. Working together and with new technologies available at Upson, this team is able to do more for critically ill people than ever before.

Open 24/7, including holidays and weekends, Upson can handle hundreds of emergency conditions, including heart attack, stroke, breathing problems, hypo- and hyperglycemia, broken bones, severe bleeding and spinal injuries.


How do I access care?

In a medical emergency, dial 911.

It can be very dangerous to drive to the hospital when you or a loved one is experiencing a life-threatening medical emergency. Call 911 instead.

If you suspect heart attack or stroke, do not wait: call 911 immediately. In a medical emergency, every minute counts.

For emergencies that are not life-threatening, please drive to Upson’s Emergency Department entrance. Once inside, go to the registration area first and then follow directions to be seen by the triage nurse.

Note: hospital emergency departments should NOT be used for routine care, such as treatment of ear aches, sore throats or colds. If your condition does not require urgent care, please see your regular physician.


When should I seek emergency care?

  • Anytime you or someone you are with experiences symptoms that might signal a medical emergency, such as severe bleeding, chest pain, sudden paralysis on one side of the body, or loss of consciousness
  • Anytime you are concerned symptoms may indicate a problem which, if not treated promptly, could lead to death or disability
  • Anytime pain is unbearable


What if I’m not sure it’s a medical emergency?

Symptoms are not always clear, even for conditions such as heart attack and stroke. When in doubt, come to the Emergency Department.


How long will it take for me to see a doctor?

At Upson, patients with the most urgent needs are seen first. We strive to make sure everyone who arrives in our Emergency Department sees a triage nurse within minutes. After that, we do everything we can to make your visit as quick and pleasant as possible.


Does your Emergency Department accept my insurance?

Upson is an in-network provider for most insurance plans offered in Georgia and participates in Medicare and Medicaid. Most insurance companies allow you to seek emergency care at the closest emergency department, even if the hospital is not a member of their network. If you are uninsured, Upson will work with you to make sure you receive the care you need, regardless of your ability to pay.


GI Lab

Upson’s GI Lab, located on the first floor of the hospital, provides high quality nursing care with experienced staff, state-of-the-art facilities and the newest, high-definition technology for patients needing endoscopic procedures.

Endoscopic procedures use tiny digital cameras attached to a flexible tube (endoscope), that allow physicians to see what’s inside a patient’s GI Tract. The cameras help physicians identify polyps, inflammation, ulcers and tumors, and diagnose gastrointestinal conditions.

Colonoscopy – large intestines
EGD – the upper GI tract
ERCP – portions of the liver, pancreas and gallbladder
Bronchoscopy – trachea and lungs.

Upson’s certified staff performs more than 130 endoscopies per month with advanced digital technology and smaller endoscopes. Upson is the first hospital in the state to offer FUSE technology, which allows physicians to see more of the colon. Colonoscopy and EGD procedures are procedures most commonly performed.

Recovery times usually are only 30-45 minutes. During this time and before the procedure, patients can relax in private rooms with specialized nursing care.

Regular colonoscopy screenings are suggested for those 50 years old or older. Ask your primary physician for a colonoscopy referral.



Upson is proud to be one of the few hospitals in the area that provides anesthesia services by board certified anesthetists 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

At Upson, patient safety and comfort come first for the care you want, the quality you need and the service you deserve. 



Upson’s board certified radiologists and digital diagnostics are a powerful combination for patients. Upson’s imaging technology is 100 percent digital, and we are dedicated to providing patients with state-of-the-art testing and treatments through the most current methods available.

Portable Results

Upson’s digital capabilities allow for diagnostic tests to be stored in a Picture Archive Communications System (PACS). PACS enables the referring physician to view images securely on their office computer, home computer, and on computers throughout the hospital. Test results and images can also be copied to compact discs for viewing by the physician or at other facilities.

Digital Diagnostic Services

64- Slice CT: Computerized tomography procedures are performed on a 64 slice CT. Upson’s 64 slice CT is so fast, it can take pictures of your heart between beats. In just a matter of seconds, the Upson’s CT can create photo-quality images of the inside of the body — painlessly.

The CT generates 3D images of the heart, brain, circulatory system, skeletal system and internal organs, allowing physicians to diagnose narrowed arteries, internal bleeding, early stage cancers and much more. Additional capabilities of our 64 slice CT are coronary CT angiography and non-invasive imaging of arteries and veins.


Magnetic Resonance Imaging provides good contrast between the different soft tissues of the body, which makes it especially useful in imaging the brain, muscles, the heart, and cancers compared with other medical imaging techniques.. For an MRI test, the area of the body being studied is placed inside a special machine that contains a strong magnet. Pictures from an MRI scan are digital images that can be saved and stored on a computer for more study. The images also can be reviewed remotely, such as in a clinic or an operating room. In some cases, contrast material may be used during the MRI scan to show certain structures more clearly.

Digital Mammography

Upson’s mammography section consists of a digital mammography system with a computer aided detection (CAD) computer, a stereotastic breast biopsy system, and a DEXA scanner for bone osteoporosis scans. Our digital mammography system and our CAD computer improve radiologists ability to detect abnormalities of the breast by as much as 25%.

A digital mammogram is kind of like your digital camera, the difference between the old film of cameras and a digital camera. So the difference is that we can see the image right away and radiologists can look at the digital image on a screen and change how light or dark it is, where as a film you can't really change that, you have what you have. Digital mammograms are higher in contrast, and better for women who have dense breast tissue, are under the age of 50, or are pre-menopausal. We are pleased to offer Digital Mammography at Upson.

Breast MRI

Upson is advancing the art of cancer detection with Breast MRI. The system helps physicians pinpoint possible cancers with greater accuracy, detect tiny cancers not obvious on mammograms or ultrasound studies, and combine real-time images with special biopsy equipment for maximum accuracy with minimal scarring. Breast MRI is excellent for detecting cancers in dense breast tissue, in women at high risk for breast cancer, and for women who have had breast augmentation.

Interventional Radiology

Radiologists perform biopsies, arthrography, and myelography.


Ultrasound consists of two high definition ultrasound systems and a vascular ultrasound system.

Nuclear Medicine

Nuclear medicine procedures are obtained with special cameras that deliver true 3D information. This information is typically presented as cross-sectional slices through the patient, but can be freely reformatted or manipulated as required. Myocardial perfusion stress tests are performed in Nuclear Medicine and the nuclear medicine images are obtained in 3D.

Appointments may be made by calling (706) 647-8111 ext.1114. If you have questions or need additional information please call Imaging Services at (706) 647-8111 ext.1155.


Physical Therapy & Rehabilitation

With two convenient locations in Thomaston and Barnesville, Upson’s physical therapists and professional staff help restore function, improve mobility, relieve pain, and prevent or limit permanent physical disabilities of patients suffering from injuries or disease.

Typical diagnoses referred to Upson include:

  • Joint replacements
  • Spinal disorders
  • Stroke
  • Neurological disorders (Parkinson’s disease, brain injuries)
  • Developmental disorders
  • General orthopedic disorders (sprains, fractures, surgical repairs)
  • General medical conditions with motor deficits

We strive to care for the whole patient - body, mind and spirit and look forward to caring for you if you should need us.

Physician referral is required.


  • Barnesville Medical Office Building. (Outpatients)
  • Upson Regional Medical Center, Thomaston


Sleep Study

At Upson, we're catching some waves that can have a dramatic effect for those who suffer from sleep disorders. One out of every four people suffers from a sleep disorder and many sleep disorders may be life threatening. Upson can help.

Sleep Studies

Sleep studies outlined by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine available at Upson’s Sleep Disorder Center include:

  • Polysomnograph (PSG)
  • Polysomnograph with CPAP or Bilevel
  • Multiple Sleep Latency Test (MSLT)
  • Maintenance of Wakefulness Testing (MWT)

The center features a two-bed diagnostic facility with state-of-the-art digital equipment, individual suites with double beds and private baths, and nationally certified or registry eligible staff.

Common Symptoms

Upson’s Sleep Disorder Center frequently tests people with these symptoms:

  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Loud snoring
  • Difficulty falling asleep


Common Sleep Disorders

The Sleep Disorders Center commonly treats these disorders:

  • Obstructive Sleep Apnea - This condition occurs when the airway is temporarily blocked, causing breathing to stop briefly during sleep. These episodes cause the person to partially wake up so that breathing can resume. Sleep apnea disrupts sleep patterns and can be hazardous to cardiovascular health.
  • Narcolepsy - A neurological disorder that stems from the brain’s inability to regulate sleep-wake cycles. Narcolepsy causes excessive daytime sleepiness and sudden sleep attacks.
  • Periodic Leg Movements - A disorder causing limbs to twitch or jerk in clusters about every 20-40 minutes during sleep. An episode can last from a few minutes to several hours and prevent sound sleep.
  • Insomnia - The inability to fall asleep or remain asleep. Upson’s Sleep Disorder Center schedules night, day and weekend hours to meet your individual needs.


Contact Us:

Physician referral is required for Sleep Studies. For more information, call 706-647-8111 ext. 1456 or 1449.



Upson offers outpatient intravenous services for patients with on-going treatment plans. Treatments include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • Blood Product Transfusions
  • IV antibiotic therapy
  • IV hydration
  • Other special IV medications

The treatment room is available seven days a week and located on the first floor in the Ambulatory Care area near the Main Lobby.

It is staffed with nurses specially-trained through the Oncology Nursing Society. Services may be scheduled by calling extension 1114.


Wound Care

At Upson’s Wound Healing Center, everything we do is designed to help our patients reclaim something they thought they had lost; to help them regain as much of what they once had as possible; or to assist them in an ongoing struggle against formidable enemies like diabetes and other diseases and conditions.

A non-healing wound on your body is not a natural thing. Seeing yourself in less-than optimal health can have deep and devastating psychological consequences. Feeling depressed and despondent are normal, natural extensions of being in a situation where you feel things are not getting better, or seeing things getting worse.

Breathing 100% oxygen at increased atmospheric pressure is a painless, proven way to help the body heal.

Wound Healing

Wound healing is a process whereby the human body attempts to repair damage, generally to the outside of the body’s surface (skin). The simple process of a scab forming after a child skins his knee is a perfect representation of this concept. The formation of scar tissue after a surgical procedure is another. However, there are many instances where the body cannot repair the damage successfully, causing a host of other problems like infection, gangrene, and, in some cases, amputation.

Non-Healing Wounds

Non-healing wounds can attack any external part of the body, and they can take many forms. Some of the most common are pressure ulcers, while others develop as a result of post-surgical complications. Often, a patient has multiple problems simultaneously, making wound healing a difficult (and sometimes impossible)challenge.

Upson’s Wound Center treats these common wounds:

  • Diabetic wounds
  • Pressure ulcers
  • Venous stasis ulcers
  • Arterial ulcers
  • Vasculitic ulcers
  • Surgical wounds
  • Complex soft tissue wounds
  • Infected wounds


When You’re Ready

If you know you need professional wound healing care, visit your doctor, or call us at 706.647-5856 for an appointment. Once we receive your request, the healing can begin. Our staff will help you understand the process of wound healing, describe and explain what is happening every step of the way, chart your progress as you move through the treatment process and give you all the information and advice you need once your treatment is complete. This is all part of your Individualized Treatment Plan. If your family members are involved, we will help them understand what is happening and why their help and support is of critical importance to your overall experience.




When you call us to make an appointment, we will begin to gather information about you and what next steps need to be taken. We’ll determine the best day and time for you to come in and meet with our team to begin your assessment. The assessment will include evaluation of your wound and medical history. Tests may be conducted to better understand your blood flow, how much oxygen is in your tissue, and to determine if the wound is infected.


Assessing your Needs

At this time, you will learn what we believe your problem is, and what we recommend be done to treat and resolve it. We’ll discuss your problem internally, and with your primary care physician, specialist or other medical professionals involved in your care, and, of course, with you.

One of the most difficult aspects patients face is uncertainty, and we have so much experience, and such sophisticated expertise, that we will address your fears and concerns and give you a plan of action you can feel comfortable in adopting.

Once you’ve been referred to Upson, our patient care team will work with your referring physician to manage the healing process from start to finish so that you experience a consistent plan of care.


Wound Healing & Hyperbaric Medicine

Phone: 706.647.5856
Fax: 706.646.3028