Blood clots are clumps that occur when blood hardens from a liquid to a solid.
Thrombus and blood clot
A blood clot that forms inside one of your veins or arteries is called a thrombus. A thrombus may also form in your heart.
Embolus and blood clot
A thrombus that breaks loose and travels from one location in the body to another is called an embolus.
Effect of thromboembolism
- A thrombus or embolus can partly or completely block the flow of blood in a blood vessel.
- A blockage in an artery may prevent oxygen from reaching the tissues in that area. This is called ischemia. If ischemia is not treated promptly, it can lead to tissue damage or death.
- A blockage in the vein will often cause fluid buildup and swelling.
Deep vein thrombosis
A blood clot in one of the large veins, usually in a person’s leg or arm, is called a deep vein thrombosis or DVT. When a blood clot like this forms, it can partly or completely block the flow of blood through the vein.
If a DVT is not treated, it can move or break off and travel to the lungs.
A blood clot in the lung is called pulmonary embolism or PE, and can cause death and requires immediate medical attention.
risk factors for blood clot
Blood clots do not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity or race. Blood clots can affect anyone. Three major risk factors are:
Other Risk Factors Include:
- Birth control that contains estrogen
- Being overweight
- Hormone replacement therapy that contains estrogen
- Family history of blood clots
- Trauma, particularly when the vein is injured
- Immobility or sitting for long periods
Signs And Symptoms
- Blood clots can be safely treated.
- DVT (Arm or Leg) – if you experience any of these, call your doctor as soon as possible.
- Swelling of your leg or arm
- Pain or tenderness not caused by an injury
- Skin that is warm to the touch, with swelling or pain
- Redness of the skin, with swelling or pain
Pulmonary embolism (blood clot going to the lung)
If you experience any of these, seek medical attention immediately.
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath
- Coughing up blood
- Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat
Prevention of blood clots
- Know your risks and recognize signs and symptoms.
- Tell your doctor if you have risk factors for blood clots.
- Before any surgery, talk with your doctor about blood clots.
- See your doctor as soon as you can if you do have any symptoms.
Frequently Asked Questions
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