Begin on Blood Thinners

Are you on a Blood Thinner?

Blood may clot in a critical point, resulting in loss of blood supply and death of an organ. If diagnosed in time, the doctor advised you to remain on long term anticoagulation, to prevent this from happening again. The usual scenarios where patients are advised anticoagulation are

  • A coronary stent has been placed recently
  • There is an artificial heart valve recently placed
  • There has been a clot in the veins, with a risk of spreading to the heart
  • There is atrial fibrillation, and so a risk of clotting in the heart itself

The doctor advising anticoagulation may have already told you that it is critical that the blood is neither too thin (risk in bleeding), nor near normal (risk of clotting).

If a person on blood thinners gets an ulcer, this could be a source of bleeding, and bleed may not stop as the blood will not clot. The doctor dealing with the ulcer may ask for a monitored discontinuation of the anticoagulant, balancing the risks of bleeding with the risks of a vascular event. It is thus important for you to know every aspect of the reason you are on anti coagulants. It would also be good to have a summary of how your anticoagulant management has progressed since it was started.

The summary should include

  • The cause of being on a blood thinner,
  • The name and contact details of the doctor looking after it;
  • Blood reports showing the doses that are being used to maintain a stable drug level & and
  • The anatomical diagnosis and status for which this has been planned.
  • Other medications that are being used concurrently

Whenever you are going for any health related visit to the hospital, whether it is a routine or an emergent cause, even for a test; this information may be sought, and you may need to produce all details at a short notice. You could

  • Save a soft copy on your Drive in the mailbox, or the cell documents
  • A hard copy may be the first page of your health file.
  • Copies should be with your care givers too.