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What You Need To Know About Blood Thinners


medical id tagsBlood thinners are a very commonly prescribed medication in the US. If you have a type of heart or blood vessel disease or if you have inadequate blood flow to the brain, your doctor has probably prescribed some variety of blood thinner to help treat your symptoms. Blood thinners work to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke by reducing the formation of blood clots in your arteries and veins.

There are two main types of blood thinners: Anticoagulants (like heparin and warfarin, also referred to as Coumadin) and Antiplatelet  (like aspirin). Anticoagulants work on chemical reactions in your body and help to increase the time it takes for your blood to clot (for the bleeding to stop). Antiplatelet drugs stop blood cells from clumping together and clotting.

While blood thinners offer an array of benefits to those who take them, they also pose some risks, especially when they’re prescribed with other medications. When taken with other medications, blood thinners can have very serious side effects.

In the event of an emergency, it’s important for first responders to know that you’re already on blood thinners. Having that information will aid emergency personnel in treating your injuries more accurately, and they’ll know what medications you can and cannot be given along with your blood thinners.

Another reason first responders should know that you’re taking blood thinners is so they can monitor any injuries you might have with extra care. Since blood thinners stop your blood from clotting, any injury that would cause bleeding (whether that’s a paper cut, a more major laceration, or internal injury) would continue to bleed. In the case of a more serious trauma, you would need to be monitored for internal bleeding because even if you looked to be ok on the outside, you might have uncontrolled bleeding on the inside.

Wearing a medical ID can provide first responders with all the information they’ll need in the event of an emergency. When you wear a medical ID with your information, first responders will know to monitor you for symptoms of internal bleeding. They’ll also know not to give you certain medications that could cause adverse reactions.

When it comes to engraving your medical ID for blood thinners, we recommend listing your first and last name, that you are on blood thinners, what condition causes you to take blood thinners, any allergies or other medications, and an in case of emergency phone number.

For example:
ICE: 555-987-0987


This article was well written and let this be a warning to you all: even if you do the blood work to find out what your level is weekly, bi-weekly or monthly, anything can go wrong. I had been put on Coumadin in 2010 due to blood clots in my legs (I have lupus coagulation disease)and was put on coumadin (which is rat poisoning, but I didn't know that then). In April of 2013, I began to itch, didn't have any strength, was thirsty all the time, and couldn't complete a thought, much less a sentence. My hubby took me to the doctor and she immediately put me in the hospital. My blood count was so low, I had to have 2 units of packed frozen blood cells and 2 units of whole blood. I was put on IV's and they were trying to figure out where my blood was going. They tested one end to the other and couldn't figure it out until (while still in the hospital 1 day BEFORE they were going to release me) I had 2 grand mal seizures. That was on a Friday. I had been there since Tuesday. I had one in the morning right after eating breakfast and good thing my hubby was by my side. Then I had another one before dinner that late afternoon. They padded my bed, raised the rails, my hubby had to stay with me and when he had to go get something for me, he would have to ring for the nurse and let her know so they could watch me. The next day they made special arrangements for me to go to the MRI Center via ambulance for a scan. I had an acute subdural hematoma - that's where my blood had gone. The doctors and the nurses all told me that if my hubby had not taken me to the doctor and she admitted me, I would have died.  
I am now on seizure medication twice a day and a 81mg. aspirin every day. I will have to take those for the rest of my life. For the first 6 months AFTER my seizures (and you don't remember anything at all), I was able to be by myself and at last drive a car. If I have just 1 more seizure, I have to wait 6 months before I can drive again. Believe me, when my doctor asked about the coumadin, I told her to take the pills and send them back to the company that made them and told her I wanted my money back. I also told her I had no intention of doing that ever again. Unfortunately, not but 6 weeks after my incident, my father-in-law who was taking Coumadin also began to lose blood and I warned them about it but of course, no one listens to a retired nurse, and since he was 90 years old, they made him "comfortable" and he passed away. That hurt me badly as well as my hubby who had to go back and forth from Georgia to Alabama several times during all this trauma to me and his Dad. So, bare the warning. Some people cannot take that Coumadin. And if you begin to do things that "aren't you", tell a family member to take you directly to your doctor or the nearest ER. It just might save your life. And pass this on. 
Posted @ Wednesday, August 13, 2014 3:35 PM by Linda Britnell
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