Jump to content

Red Headed = increased bleeding risk?

MIA-RN1 MIA-RN1, RN (Member)

Hi all! Yet another something I learned/heard at work and I don't know if its anecdotal or based in fact.

Has anyone else ever heard that red-headed patients are more at risk for bleeding/post-partum hemorrhage?

fgoff

Specializes in ER, Teaching, HH, CM, QC, OB, LTC. Has 20 years experience.

I've heard this & being a red-head I've had trouble clotting before. When all labs showed no problems other than anemia (poor diet)????? Things that make you go HMMMMM?????

I've heard this too, many many times. Of all the "true" red heads I've taken care of, I have yet to see a postpartum hemorrhage or increased bleeding. I think i've heard there is an increased risk of genetic clotting disorders with true red heads but i'm not sure and don't have any literature to back that up.

RNKITTY04

Specializes in Rehab, Step-down,Tele,Hospice.

I,m a redhead and definatly a bleeder. Does anyone have any scientific data r/t this subject?

I also have heard this said when I was out with the midwives. The one person I know who could ask said this was the case for her. I too would be interested in the science if any behind this. :rolleyes:

As a redhead, I've heard this too...and interestingly enough, I couldn't get an epidural because my d-dimers were off...but I think that had more to do with the pre-eclampsia than being a redhead. Poor hubby couldn't be in the room for my c-section...

SmilingBluEyes

Has 20 years experience.

True natural redhead here. Lost very little blood both deliveries, even my csection, less than 400 ml.

HOWEVER I feel pain more intensely than most...and I have read studies that say this seems to be true. Wonder why....

BBFRN, BSN, PhD

Specializes in Trauma,ER,CCU/OHU/Nsg Ed/Nsg Research. Has 15 years experience.

We did a study on both of these subjects (with red-haired females) where I used to work. I believe the bleeding study found that although the red-heads tended to bruise more easily, their coags were comparable to dark-haired female counterparts. If I remember correctly, the population sample wasn't very large, though.

As for the pain threshold study, we took a different route, and studied red haired females receiving anesthesia. They apparently required 20% more anesthesia than dark-haired or blonde females. I think it has something to do with the gene that is responsible for red hair and freckles.

I think it would be a good idea to research red-haired females and a propensity for MS. Have any of you noticed that most of your MS patients will be red-heads, or is it just me?

I am taking Maternal-Fetal Nursing right now & just the other day one of our instructors said that every L & D nurse will tell you that true redheads bleed more. A clinical instructor told us you won't find it in any textbooks, but to watch out for the redheads, because they tend to hemorrhage on you more often.

SmilingBluEyes

Has 20 years experience.

I have NOT found that to be true (that redheads bleed more). I just have not, and I have been at this for 9 years now. So not EVERY L/D nurse will tell you this. It seems to be more anecdotal than proven, really.

wow! Thanks so much for all the responses. I, too, would love to see a link if there is one, to research on this.

As to the MS, I have read that it affects blondes and those in the northern hemisphere more often.

kirsnikity

Specializes in L&D. Has 10 years experience.

I really can't speak from experience, but my nursing textbook Maternal-Newborn & Child Nursing, London, et.al states that "women who are natural redheads tend to experience heavier bleeding after childbirth." No reference is given for this though. I also have a midwifery textbook that says something similar.

:specs:

Nikki

I've only been working L&D for a few months, and EVERY true redhead I've taken care of has bled a considerable amount more than normal. PPH? I wouldn't say that, as only about 25% of those women warranted methergine. But they did bleed extrememly heavy and when it was time to get up to the bathroom about more than half have passed out cold. I've been told from the nurses who have worked there for years that we don't have many women pass out on us in general, but of those that do, 75% are redheads.

I was also told in school from my OB instructor that redheads will bleed more, although there is no textbook answer for this. She has a PhD in women's health and was an OB nurse for 30+ years. I'd like to think that she knows something.

As a natural red head it is very interesting to read these threads...

Personally, I am a bleeder! As a child I would get horrific nose bleeds that would last for hours literally! My menses are so heavy that on heavy days I am unable to leave the house (I plan my life around the third day of my period). After my C-section delivery I lost so much blood that we were on the verge of requiring a transufsion.

As far as pain tolerance, I was at 8 cm. dilation for 6 hours and never so much as screamed, whined, etc. with no analgesia. I have had a surgeon begin surgery on me before anesthetic took effect (not pleasant, but when I said, "I can feel that!" he did apologize :uhoh21:). I don't think this would qualify for low pain tolerance :rolleyes:.

Laura

SmilingBluEyes,

How can you tell that you experience pain more intensely than most? I'm not doubting you, I'm just really curious how you would know that. Thanks for the experienced (in being redhead and being an L&D nurse) input, btw. :)

Very interesting topic! I have also heard this but had no idea whether it was based in fact.

supernurse65

Specializes in MR Peds, geris, psych, DON,ADON,SSD.

I'm a peds nurse for 15 years and the red headed freckle face kids with T&A always seemed to bleed more than other kids. maybe anecdotal maybe not?

SmilingBluEyes

Has 20 years experience.

The pain experience: I have received a lot of feedback through the years from people in medicine and anesthesia that tells me I need more medication than most. It's true in dentistry too....i always need a second or even third shot of local to numb up an area before tooth work! It makes my dentist crazy I think....

Also, I have had several surgeries and pregnancies/losses requiring pain intervention and have been told time and again, "wow you need a lot of pain medicine" or "you have a really low tolerance for pain". I have read some articles that do suggest redheads tend to require more analgesia/anesthesia in these situations, can't quote them, unfortunately. As to whether I feel it more intensely, you are right, I can't say I definately do---I chose my words very poorly.

. I can say what people have told me through the years, however.

SmilingBluEyes

Has 20 years experience.

I've only been working L&D for a few months, and EVERY true redhead I've taken care of has bled a considerable amount more than normal. PPH? I wouldn't say that, as only about 25% of those women warranted methergine. But they did bleed extrememly heavy and when it was time to get up to the bathroom about more than half have passed out cold. I've been told from the nurses who have worked there for years that we don't have many women pass out on us in general, but of those that do, 75% are redheads.

I was also told in school from my OB instructor that redheads will bleed more, although there is no textbook answer for this. She has a PhD in women's health and was an OB nurse for 30+ years. I'd like to think that she knows something.

You are absolutely right, this person knows a LOT!

But those of us working in the specialty can speak to this issue, too. I have learned this much: Anecdotal experiences can vary. I have seen studies that suggest redheads bleed more and seen them debunked through the years. I think, anyhow, it's inconclusive and that it's just something we can't say for sure is absolutely true. The evidence in many cases seems to point to this.....but no one can seem to be sure or say exactly WHY. That is what I am getting at.

bagladyrn, RN

Specializes in OB.

All of the evidence may be anecdotal, but why take a chance. After 18 years in this specialty, if I am caring for a true redhead, I make sure I have IV access and the methergine and/or hemabate is in the room.

I do remember reading a reference recently to redheads requiring more anesthesia/pain med, but can't remember where.

P.S. - SBE - I do know that all my redheaded cousins were the ORNERIEST little kids - or is that a myth too? ;)

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.