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Preventing Injuries While Taking Heparin

Heparin, which is an anticoagulant medicine, causes the blood to clot more slowly. This medicine is used to treat deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and other conditions. While taking heparin, you should be aware that blood may take longer than normal to clot after an injury.

Because you bleed easily when you take heparin, you need to be careful to prevent falls and injuries and when taking medicines.

If you are injured, apply pressure to stop bleeding. Realize that it will take longer than you are used to for the bleeding to stop.

Make these changes in your life to prevent falls:

  • Wear slippers or shoes with nonskid soles.
  • Use a cane or walker if you need one.
  • Put things within easy reach so that you don't need to reach over your head for them.
  • Keep a cordless phone and a flashlight with new batteries by your bed.

Make these changes in your home to prevent falls:

  • Remove throw rugs and clutter.
  • Rearrange furniture and electrical cords to keep them out of walking paths.
  • Keep stairways, porches, and outside walkways well lit. Use night-lights in hallways and bathrooms.
  • Use shower chairs and bath benches.
  • Use nonskid floor wax. Wipe up spills right away, especially on ceramic tile floors.
  • If you live in an area that gets snow and ice in the winter, have a family member or friend sprinkle salt or sand on slippery steps and sidewalks.

Make these changes to prevent injuries:

  • Enjoy activities that have a lower risk of injury like swimming and walking. Try to avoid activities or sports that put you at risk of injury. But if you take part in activities that carry a risk of falling or injury, be as safe as possible and wear protective equipment like helmets.
  • Be extra careful when you work with sharp tools or power tools, such as saws.
  • Use an electric razor, not a razor blade.
  • Use waxed dental floss and a toothbrush with soft bristles.
  • When you work outside, wear clothing that protects you, such as gloves, shoes, and long sleeves.

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerJeffrey S. Ginsberg, MD - Hematology
Last RevisedDecember 28, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: December 28, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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