Ask the doctor: Bleeding risks from low-dose aspirin

Q. I had a heart attack several years ago and have been taking low-dose aspirin ever since to prevent a second one. But I keep hearing about the bleeding risks caused by aspirin. What should I be watching for?

A. Aspirin prevents tiny cell fragments in the blood called platelets from clumping together and forming clots. But it also increases the risk of minor bleeding. You may notice that cuts bleed a little longer than usual. Bruises, which happen when blood leaks out of small vessels (capillaries) after an injury, may also be more noticeable.

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