Blood thinning medication instruction videos released

Blood thinning medication: How-to videos released

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INFORMED: A screen shot from one of the instructional videos to help people understand how to take their medication properly.

INFORMED: A screen shot from one of the instructional videos to help people understand how to take their medication properly.

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Forgotten how to take your blood thinning medication? No worries, there are videos available online to help remind you.

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How often do you come home from a medical appointment and despite being told how to take your medication, you've just forgotten how to?

Well, videos have been developed to help you with this, particularly for oral anticoagulants - commonly referred to as blood thinners.

They cover practical tips on how to take your medicine safely and correctly, keep track of your own health, work with your health professionals and better protect yourself against injuries, including using soft toothbrushes, wearing gloves while gardening, and using non-slip bathmats in the shower.

The videos have been developed by Researchers from Curtin University and Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital.

Lead researcher Dr Leanne Chalmers, from the Curtin Medical School, explained the need for the videos.

"Oral anticoagulants are very effective, but people need to understand how to use them correctly to help balance their chances of bleeding and clotting," she said.

"Nurses and pharmacists currently do a terrific job in providing face-to-face and written information to people starting anticoagulants, but we hope offering patients a video to watch as well will allow them greater flexibility about when and how they take in this important information.

"There are many simple tips for helping people taking blood thinners make the most of their medicines, such as remembering to take them regularly every day, watching themselves for signs of unwanted bleeding, working with their health professionals, and preventing injuries by using soft toothbrushes, wearing gloves while gardening, and using non-slip bathmats in the shower."

Among the reasons people might take blood thinners include a fast, irregular heart rate (atrial fibrillation) and heart valve replacement surgery, both of which are more common in older Australians; and blood clots in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) and lungs (pulmonary embolism), which can occur in people of any age, including travellers, people after surgery and people with conditions that increase the stickiness of their blood.

The study is supported by the Curtin School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences EMCA Program.

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