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When would you need a prothrombin time test?

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Your doctor might order this test to check for a bleeding disorder. Symptoms of bleeding disorders include:

You’d also need this test if you’re on warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven), a medicine to thin your blood. The prothrombin time test helps make sure you get the right dose -- you want to prevent dangerous clots, but still let your blood clot when you need it to.

  • Bleeding or bruising easily
  • Blood clots that form when they shouldn’t
  • Blood in your poop or urine
  • Gums that bleed easily
  • Heavy menstrual periods in women
  • Nosebleeds
  • Swelling or pain in your joints

From: What Is a Prothrombin Time Test? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

KidsHealth: “Blood Test: Prothrombin Time,” “Blood Test: Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT).”

University of Rochester Medical School: “Prothrombin Time.”

Lab Tests Online: “Prothrombin Time and International Normalized Ratio.”

Mayo Clinic: “Prothrombin Time Test.”

National Hemophilia Foundation: “Von Willebrand Disease.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on May 16, 2019

SOURCES:

KidsHealth: “Blood Test: Prothrombin Time,” “Blood Test: Partial Thromboplastin Time (PTT).”

University of Rochester Medical School: “Prothrombin Time.”

Lab Tests Online: “Prothrombin Time and International Normalized Ratio.”

Mayo Clinic: “Prothrombin Time Test.”

National Hemophilia Foundation: “Von Willebrand Disease.”

Reviewed by Minesh Khatri on May 16, 2019

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What are the risks in a prothrombin time test?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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