Your physician may have prescribed blood-thinning medications to prevent a blood clot, stroke, or heart attack if you are considered a high-risk patient. High-risk patients typically have personal or family histories of the aforementioned health conditions or may have hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, or are struggling with obesity.

Also known as anticoagulants, blood thinners make your blood less likely to clot normally, which can raise your risk for a dangerous bleeding event. If you have taken blood thinners and have gotten sick or disabled as a result, talk to a personal injury attorney.

Your doctor may have been negligent in monitoring your blood tests while you were receiving anticoagulant therapy or may even have committed malpractice. Here are some potential long-term health risks of taking blood-thinning medications:

Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage 

While microscopic bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract is not uncommon in people who take blood thinners, gastrointestinal hemorrhage is a rare, life-threatening potential consequence. It may be more common in those who take blood thinners who also have renal failure; however, anticoagulant-related gastrointestinal hemorrhage can occur in the absence of renal disease.  If you experience hemorrhaging in your gastrointestinal tract, you may need an immediate blood transfusion, oxygen therapy, and central venous pressure monitoring.

Extreme gastrointestinal bleeding can lead to organ damage, disability, and even threaten your life. If you tell your doctor that you have symptoms of gastrointestinal bleeding and if he or she fails to order diagnostic blood and medical imaging tests, your personal injury lawyer may recommend that you pursue legal action.

Symptoms of a gastrointestinal hemorrhage may include black, tarry stools, bright red stools, passing blood clots in the stool, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, fainting, abdominal pain, and a fast heart rate.

At the first sign of gastrointestinal hemorrhage, your physician should have ordered a complete blood count, or CBC, along with an iron blood test and endoscopy and colonoscopy tests to determine where the source of bleeding is originating from so that it can be stopped as soon as possible. 

Cerebral Hemorrhage

Blood thinners can also raise the risk for a cerebral hemorrhage, or bleeding inside your brain. This life-threatening type of stroke can also be caused by high blood pressure and existing cardiovascular disease.

A cerebral hemorrhage, like any other devastating stroke, can cause physical and cognitive deficits such as paralysis on one or both sides of the body, vision loss, inability to speak, swallowing difficulties, bladder and bowel incontinence, and severe depression.

Sometimes, a massive stroke may be preceded by small strokes, known as transient ischemic attacks, or TIAs. If your doctor misses the signs of a TIA such as slurred speech, blurred vision, numbness or tingling sensations of the face, leg, or arm, severe headache, or dizziness, and you suffer a cerebral hemorrhage soon after, malpractice may have been committed.

Your personal injury attorney will request your medical and hospital records so that a legal nurse or other medical professional can review them. If negligence or malpractice is suspected, your legal case will be filed. 

Severe Anemia

Another consequence of blood-thinning medications is severe anemia. Whether you develop massive brisk bleeding or slow microscopic bleeding, severe anemia can develop. Symptoms of severe anemia include dizziness, pallor, shortness of breath, low blood pressure, headache, and a rapid heart rate.

You may also experience bleeding gums. nosebleeds, or abnormal bruising, and if severe anemia is not recognized and treated quickly, organ damage may occur. If you take blood thinners and experience any of the aforementioned symptoms of anemia see your doctor. If he or she fails to follow up with lab tests, you may have reason to file a personal injury lawsuit. 

If you take blood-thinning medications and experience complications from gastrointestinal hemorrhage, cerebral hemorrhage, or severe anemia, contact a personal injury attorney. The lawyer may offer you a complimentary phone consultation to evaluate your case, and if he or she believes that your physician was negligent, a personal injury or malpractice lawsuit may be filed on your behalf. If you win your case, you may be awarded a substantial monetary settlement for your pain and suffering and your future medical care expenses.