ASH Clinical News July 2017 V2 - Page 34

TRAINING and EDUCATION Patient Education • hospitalization for illness or surgery • major surgery, particularly of the pelvis, abdomen, hip, or knee • severe trauma, such as a car accident • injury to a vein (e.g., from a broken bone or severe muscle injury) • hip or knee replacement surgery • cancer and cancer treatments • use of birth control methods that contain estrogen, such as the pill, patch, or ring • pregnancy, including six weeks after birth • use of hormone replacement therapy, which contains estrogen • family history of blood clots • obesity • confinement to bed • sitting too long, especially with legs crossed How Can Blood Clots Be Prevented? Knowing the risk factors for and signs and symptoms of blood clots is an important part of prevention. You can also prevent blood clots by: • discussing risk factors with a doctor • talking with the doctor about blood clots prior to any surgery • visiting a doctor as soon as possible if any symptoms of a blood clot appear • knowing your family history and discussing it with your doctor • standing up, walking around, and stretching your legs every two to three hours, particularly when traveling long distance by car or plane The National Blood Clot Alliance Resources The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) is dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis, and successful treatment of life- threatening blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and clot- provoked stroke. NBCA works on behalf of those who may be susceptible to blood clots, including those with clotting disorders, atrial fibrillation, cancer, traumatic injury, risks related to surgery, lengthy immobility, child birth, and birth control. For more information on NBCA, visit stoptheclot.org. For more patient resources on blood clots, visit stoptheclot.org/learn_more/about-clots.htm. 32 ASH Clinical News • maintaining a healthy weight • not smoking or taking steps to quit smoking How Are Blood Clots Treated? Blood clots are treated with anticoagulants (also known as blood thinners), which slow the time it takes for blood to clot and prevent clots from growing, while also preventing more clots from forming in most patients. Some anticoagulant options are discussed here. Unfractionated (UF) heparin is a fast-acting blood thinner that is administered into the vein via an intravenous needle or