During the COVID-19 pandemic period, the VGH Thrombosis Clinic will be providing essential services only, in accordance with Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) policies and directives from the Provincial Health Officer.
Until further notice, the clinic will only be open for urgent acute thrombotic cases that require in-person assessment. All non-urgent consultations, including those already booked, will be triaged for video appointments or, if appropriate, in-person assessments when clinic operations return to normal. All previously scheduled follow-up appointments will also be conducted over the phone or through video conferencing, unless in-person assessment is absolutely required. The Thrombosis clinic physician will be making these decisions and patients will be contacted.
The VGH Thrombosis Clinic remains committed to providing necessary patient care during this challenging period. It is also committed to reducing the potential transmission of all infectious illnesses to safeguard our patients, our staff and the people of British Columbia. Please help us by following appropriate instructions when you arrive at the clinic and exercising good hand hygiene and social distancing.
Our phone lines remain open, but please expect delays in returning your messages, because of the high volume of calls we are experiencing; some our staff may also be redeployed to work in other areas of the hospital.
If you have any questions about COVID-19, we recommend that you check for the latest information on the BC Centre for Disease Control website at: www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19 or check the VCH website at: www.VCH.ca/COVID19
Thank you for your patience and cooperation. Please take care and stay safe.
The VGH Thrombosis Clinic
FAQs for Patients with Thrombosis or on Blood Thinners (Anticoagulants)
- Does having thrombosis or being on anticoagulants increase my risk of getting COVID-19 infection? No. The risk of getting COVID-19 does not change because of thrombosis or being on anticoagulants.
- Does having thrombosis or being on anticoagulants increase the severity of illness if I get COVID-19? No. Thrombosis and anticoagulant treatment are not one of the conditions that are associated with increased severity of COVID-19.
- Should I get vaccinated? Are there any concerns about getting vaccinated when I am on an anticoagulants or have had a blood clot in the past? Yes, everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated should get vaccinated. Being on anticoagulants does not prevent you from getting vaccinated. You should apply firm pressure on the injection site for 5 minutes to reduce the risk of bleeding and hematoma formation. If you have a history of blood clots, it is important for you to receive a COVID-19 vaccine because having COVID-19 will increase your risk of having more blood clots. You can get more information about vaccines from the BC CDC website here.
- Do I have to do my bloodwork to check my INR for warfarin dosing? I am worried about going to the lab. Yes. You need to continue getting your INR checked. Warfarin can be dangerous if the wrong doses are taken. The doctor or nurse need to know the INR to give you the appropriate warfarin dose. Take precautions at the lab like you would in any other setting: clean your hands with alcohol sanitizer after you arrive; don’t touch your face without first cleaning your hands; maintain social distance by standing or sitting 6 feet away from others. The lab staff will be wearing protective personal equipment to protect themselves and you.
- Do I still go to the lab if I develop symptoms of COVID-19 or have to be in self-isolation? You should call the clinic and let us know that you have symptoms or is self-isolated. The doctor in charge will be notified and will decide if your warfarin doses can be estimated without INR testing. You will be contacted with further instructions.
- Do I continue my anticoagulant (warfarin, Eliquis®, Lixiana®, Pradaxa®, Xarelto®) if I get sick with COVID-19? Yes. Having COVID-19 may increase your risk of clotting because serious infections usually increase the risk of clotting. If you have vomiting or diarrhea, please call the clinic because your dose of warfarin might need adjustment.
- How do I know if I have COVID-19? Will I feel differently if I have thrombosis or am taking an anticoagulant?No. Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 are the same in people with or without thrombosis, on or off anticoagulants. Use the BC COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool to help determine if you need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.