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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Acute thrombophilia is a condition when your blood clots more easily than normal.
- Blood thinners: Blood thinners, such as heparin, help stop clots from forming. Blood thinners may be given before, during, and after a surgery or procedure. They may be given to treat a clot or to prevent a clot.
- Antiplatelets: These are pills, such as aspirin or clopidogrel. They work by making your platelets (a type of blood cell) less able to form blood clots.
- Clot busters: This medicine is given in an emergency to break apart blood clots. It is usually given to treat a stroke, pulmonary embolus, or heart attack.
- Vitamin K antagonists: This includes medicines such as warfarin. They are a long-term treatment to prevent clots from forming. You may need to have blood tests while you use these medicines. Tell your healthcare provider if you know or think you are pregnant. These medicines may harm a fetus.
- Take your medicine as directed. Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Prevent a blood clot:
- Change body positions often: When you travel in an airplane or motor vehicle, change your sitting position often. If you are bedridden due to a chronic illness, ask other family members to help change your position regularly.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods: Healthy foods include fruit, vegetables, whole-grain breads, low-fat dairy products, beans, lean meat, and fish. Ask if you need to be on a special diet.
- Get plenty of exercise: Talk to your healthcare provider about the best exercise plan for you. Exercise can decrease your blood pressure and improve your health.
- Do not smoke: If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Quitting smoking will improve your health and the health of those around you. If you smoke, ask for information about how to stop.
- Wear pressure stockings: These are tight elastic stockings that squeeze the lower part of your legs to improve circulation. This helps keep blood clots from forming.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You are shaking and you have chills.
- You have hard, bulging veins on your arms or legs.
- You have skin changes, such as wounds or reddish blue spots.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- Your arm or leg feels warm, tender, and painful. It may look swollen and red.
- You suddenly feel lightheaded and short of breath.
- You have chest pain. You may have more pain when you take a deep breath or cough. You may cough up blood.
- You have any of the following signs of a stroke:
- Numbness or drooping on one side of your face
- Weakness in an arm or leg
- Confusion or difficulty speaking
- Dizziness, a severe headache, or vision loss
- You have any of the following signs of a heart attack:
- Squeezing, pressure, or pain in your chest that lasts longer than 5 minutes or returns
- Discomfort or pain in your back, neck, jaw, stomach, or arm
- Trouble breathing
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lightheadedness or a sudden cold sweat, especially with chest pain or trouble breathing
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.