Blood Clots: What You Need to Know

Blood clots are a medical occurrence that can strike when least expected. I wanted to compose a post discussing blood clots and symptoms they often pose in order to generate some awareness of this type of bodily mass.

What is a blood clot? It’s basically a mass of blood that alters from a liquid to semi-solid state within the body. Clotting is an essential bodily function that ensures an individual does not bleed out when they cut themselves, however when clots form inside of a vein and fail to dissolve they can become incredibly dangerous.

Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when a clot fails to dissolve inside a major vein that exists within the body, most commonly in the leg. It can also occur in veins in the arms, pelvis, lungs or brain. Immobile blood clots or clots that dissolve on their own are not typically dangerous, however if a clot begins to travel within a vein it can be fatal. If a blood clot travels a significant distance within a vein and eventually reaches the heart or lungs, it can obstruct blood flow and result in a stroke.

According to health line.com, the American Society of Hematology estimates that Deep Vein Thrombosis impacts up to 900,000 American annually, killing approximately 100,000 Americans annually. Because blood clots are often times difficult to detect without a medical diagnoses, it is important to have an understanding of some of the common symptoms of a blood clot (health line.com):

Symptoms affiliated with a blood clot in the leg:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • A warm sensation
  • Pain in your calf when you stretch your toes upward
  • A pale or bluish discolouration

Symptoms affiliated with a blood clot in the heart:

  • Chest pain
  • Chest heaviness
  • Lightheadedness
  • Shortness of breath

Symptoms affiliated with a blood clot in the abdomen:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Severe abdominal pain

Symptoms affiliated with a blood clot in the brain:

  • Sudden, severe headache
  • Difficult speaking
  • Difficulty seeing or vision loss

Symptoms affiliated with a blood clot in the lungs:

  • Sudden shortness of breath that can’t be explained by exercise
  • Chest pain
  • Palpitations, or rapid heart rate
  • Breathing problems
  • Coughing up blood

It is important to acknowledge that some of the symptoms associated with blood clots are also symptoms of other, less severe medical disorders. Be sure to consult your doctor if you have suspicions of a blood clot in your body.

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