for example, doesn’t have the risk of injury that hockey
does, so being on a blood thinner might not be a problem
while playing. For those playing sports with more contact,
anticoagulation medication can be a problem due to risks
of bleeding with injury. Lower doses of anticoagulants are
also being increasingly used for long terms treatments,
after an initial 3 or 6 month course or full blood thinning.
These have a lower bleeding risk. So depending on the
potential for injury with the sport, advice to the athlete can
be customized. There are some blood thinning medications
that don’t build up over time in the body, so taking them at
certain times of the day might allow sports participation;
Jed Ortmeyer played in the NHL for 6 years doing this.
In the end, venous blood clots are the third leading
vascular diagnosis in adults, so all of us need to be more
aware. If you’ve had a blood clot, useful guides for recovery
are also available.
This article reproduced and adapted with permission from the University
of Vermont Medical Center.
Mary Cushman, MD, MSC,
(@MaryCushmanMD) is a hematologist at the
University of Vermont Medical Center where
she is Medical Director for the Thrombosis
and Hemostasis Program. She is Professor
of Medicine at the Larner College of Medicine
at the University of Vermont. She currently
serves on the national board of directors
for the American Heart Association and is
a board member of the Cardiovascular
Research Institute of Vermont.