10. “I’m worried about the risk of bleeding. I have to take the blood thinner warfarin (Coumadin). If I cut myself, do I risk bleeding to death?”
In general, no.
On a normal dosage of warfarin (Coumadin) you will bleed longer if you cut yourself (minor wound). But your blood will still clot.
You will also bruise more easily. You should stay away from contact sports like hockey, football, rugby, etc. or activities where you could easily injure yourself like mountain climbing, competitive biking, etc. (Professional athletes should not be on warfarin). But you can do normal daily activities on warfarin.
However, you may want to get a Medical ID Alert wallet card, bracelet or dog tag. Then, in case of an emergency, paramedics and doctors will know you’re taking a blood thinner.
If you do have a more serious injury, you are definitely more at risk to bleed to death than if you weren’t on warfarin.
If you’re taken to an Emergency Room for treatment, most ER personnel are experienced in using proven antidotes to reverse the blood thinning effects of warfarin. But depending on the seriousness of your injury, there’s no guarantee the reversal agents for warfarin will work in time.
(The newer anticoagulants like Pradaxa, Xarelto, Elquis unfortunately have no proven antidote. Pradaxa in particular seems to be associated with many deaths in the ER where doctors currently have no way to stop people from bleeding to death. See my article, Stop Prescribing or Taking Pradaxa)
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