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Blood Clots Signs and Symptoms: Do You Have One?

October 16, 2023 Posted in: Vascular Health

Blood Clots, also known as thrombosis, can manifest with a range of symptoms depending on their location within the body. Recognizing these signs is crucial for early intervention and prevention of serious medical complications. Understanding your personal risk factors is key to staying vigilant.

Types of blood clots

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

Deep vein thrombosis refers to the formation of a blood clot within a deep vein, usually in the legs. This clot can obstruct blood flow and potentially dislodge, traveling to other parts of the body.

Pulmonary embolism

A pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot, often from a DVT, travels to the lungs and blocks a pulmonary artery. This can impede oxygenation of the blood and strain the heart's function.

What does a blood clot feel like?

Blood clot in leg symptoms

  • Swelling or pain in one leg
  • Warmth and redness around the affected area
  • Tender or sore leg, especially when standing or walking

Blood clot in arm symptoms

  • Arm swelling or pain
  • Arm feels heavy or weak
  • Visible veins or discoloration in the arm

Blood clot in heart symptoms

  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Shortness of breath
  • Irregular heartbeat or palpitations

Blood clot in brain symptoms

  • Sudden severe headache
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Numbness or weakness in the face, arm, or leg, usually on one side of the body

Blood clot in lungs symptoms

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sharp chest pain that worsens with deep breaths
  • Rapid heart rate and breathing

What are the risk factors for blood clots?

  • Family history of blood clot disorders
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Smoking
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy or recent childbirth
  • Use of birth control pills or hormone therapy
  • Certain medical conditions, like cancer or heart disease

Informing your healthcare provider about these factors is crucial before undergoing any medical procedures or surgeries,as they can influence your treatment and prevention plans.

When to seek care

If you suspect you or a loved one has a blood clot,seek medical attention promptly.Quick care can prevent the clot from causing further complications.Depending on the severity of symptoms, consider:

  • Same-day appointment with your primary care physician
  • Urgent care for symptoms that are concerning but not immediately life-threatening
  • Emergency room for severe symptoms, such as sudden shortness of breath or chest pain

Prioritize prevention at CHI Memorial

Preventing blood clots involves understanding your risk factors and adopting healthy lifestyle changes. CHI Memorial's Heart and Vascular Center is dedicated to supporting patients in their journey to heart health. Preventing blood clots involves understanding your risk factors and adopting healthy lifestyle changes. 

Remember, recognizing the signs of blood clots, knowing your risks, and seeking timely care are essential steps in safeguarding your health. CHI Memorial Vascular Surgery Specialists treat diseases of the vascular system - the arteries, veins, and lymphatic systems. 

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