(NC) Living the life you want as you get older is possible with new advancements in medications and treatments. These innovations help aging Canadians lead happy and healthy lives and create new memories with loved ones, but can also come with concerns.
This is especially true for those taking oral anticoagulants (blood thinners) for atrial fibrillation (AFib). Approximately 350,000 Canadians have this irregular heartbeat disorder which can lead to severe and debilitating strokes. AFib is responsible for up to 15 per cent of all strokes and is more prevalent with age as the incidence doubles with each decade of life after 55.
Treating AFib with oral anticoagulants has been shown to reduce the risk of stroke, however this comes with a rare but increased risk of bleeding in an emergency.
Fortunately one of the newer treatment options is now the first and only novel oral anticoagulant to have a specific antidote for use in emergency situations. The reversal agent stops the blood-thinning effects of this particular anticoagulant if there is an urgent need, such as emergency surgery.
Thinking about your health as you age becomes even more important, but you need to make the effort to stay informed about any medical conditions and new treatment options. If you or a loved one has AFib ask your doctor about treatment options because life is unpredictable and you never know when an emergency might occur.
Make safety your number one priority, and ask your doctor for more information.