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AstraZeneca blood clots: What a haematologist thinks you should know

Neil Mitchell
Article image for AstraZeneca blood clots: What a haematologist thinks you should know

Following the news that five more Australians are being treated for blood clots linked to the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, a haematologist has shared a “frank” explanation about the risk.

Director of the haemostasis and thrombosis unit at Alfred Health, Professor Huyen Tran, says while the risk is “very small”, it is there.

While he’s had the jab himself, Professor Tran says people should be armed with all the information they need to make their own decision on whether to get the jab.

He says the medical community now has “very good awareness” about the blood clots associated with the vaccine.

“We know how to treat this syndrome,” he said.

“Anti-coagulation or blood-thinning medication … is still the mainstay. In addition, because this has an immunological basis different to your garden variety venus thrombosis, if you like, we now are in the position to give what we call intravenous immunoglobulins in conjunction at early on in diagnosis as well.

“When you turn up to your GP, your family physicians, or you turn up to the emergency room, the important blood test that we know now needs to be done is a full blood count, or a full blood examination, paying particular attention to the platelet count.”

Professor Tran says there are three main blood clot presentations that have been linked to the AstraZeneca jab.

“One is … a blood clot in the vein in the head. Naturally you get persisting headaches, that’s not relieved by Panadol,” he said.

“If you have vomiting, nausea, things like that, then I think that warrants attention.

“The other site is … blood clots in the abdomen. Anything in the abdomen you’d expect people to present with some sort of tummy pain, they may get disturbances in their bowel function within that risk period as well.

“The last area that has been reported is pulmonary embolism as well as deep vein thrombosis.”

Press PLAY below to hear what Dr Tran thinks you need to know about the AstraZeneca blood clot risk

Neil Mitchell
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