Does Aspirin Pose Bleeding Risks?

Friday, 15 Aug 2014 10:06 AM

By Peter Hibberd, M.D.

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Question: My husband recently started taking a baby aspirin every day, after his doctor recommended it (heart disease runs in his family). But even a minor cut causes profuse bleeding. Is this normal?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
 
I am a very strong supporter of baby aspirin as a protective heart-healthy measure. Yes, you will bleed slightly longer if the cut is unattended since clotting is reduced when you take aspirin. But if he provides local pressure, he should bleed no more than usual.
 
Prolonged bleeding may reflect another problem, and he should see his doctor. Perhaps he is taking another agent or chemotherapy that with aspirin prolongs his bleeding time even further? Sometimes this is seen with fish oil and aspirin, but isn’t usually excessive.
 
A bleeding time test, and other measures performed by his doctor, can usually determine if there’s a bigger problem here. He should ask his doctor if aspirin is advisable for him to use.

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