Early diagnosis saves lives
If you are under 50 and have suffered a thrombosis causing a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE), or have had a transient ischemic attack (TIA), stroke or heart attack, particularly more than once, or have had more than one miscarriage or late pregnancy loss you should discuss with your doctor whether you need the blood tests.
Currently, screening for antiphospholipid antibodies (aPL) is not automatically carried out on people who have young (aged under 50) strokes, DVTs or heart attacks and women have to go through three consecutive miscarriages before they are tested. Our charity is campaigning to change this in the UK so people are routinely screened when they have a thrombosis or have more than one miscarriage.
It is important to let your doctor know about any previous clotting or pregnancy problems and also less specific clues such as headaches, migraine, visual disturbances, memory loss, dizziness and fatigue. Family history will also help your doctor reach a diagnosis, so remember to list any immediate family with an autoimmune disease or history of thrombosis. We recommend that you print out our fact sheet: Diagnosis: how to get tested and take it with you to your appointment.
If your doctor does make a diagnosis based on the positive blood test and symptoms, it is likely they will refer you to a specialist. The particular type of specialist can depend from hospital to hospital throughout the UK, but it is likely you will see either a haematologist or a rheumatologist. Most early pregnancy units will have a specialist to treat women with APS.
Our charity maintains the only national directory of APS specialists throughout the UK, based on recommendations we receive from patients.
If you are displaying symptoms of APS find out how you can get tested via your GP or by private screening.
Thanks to other patients supplying and sharing their information, we are able to provide this unique national directory of APS specialist.
© 2017 APS Support UK (trading name of the Hughes Syndrome Foundation). Registered Charity Number 1138116. A company limited by guarantee registered in England 7268671.