What You Need To Know About Blood Thinners

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Blood 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 have access to information that can let them 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

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