A blood clot is a clump of blood that has changed from a liquid to a gel-like or semisolid state. Clotting is an essential procedure that can prevent you from losing too much blood in specific instances, such as when you’re injured or cut. When a clot forms inside one of your veins, it won’t always dissolve on its own. This can be a very hazardous and even dangerous situation. A stable blood clot generally won’t hurt you, however there’s a possibility that it might move and become harmful. If a blood clot breaks complimentary and travels through your veins to your heart and lungs, it can get stuck and avoid blood circulation. This is a medical emergency.
You must call your doctor right away if you believe you might have a blood clot. A health care specialist will be able to take a look at your symptoms and medical history and let you know what actions to draw from there.
Types of Blood Clots
Your circulatory system is made up of vessels called veins and arteries, which transport blood throughout your body. Blood clots can form in veins or arteries.
When a blood clot happens in an artery, it’s called an arterial clot. This type of clot triggers symptoms right away and requires first aid. The symptoms of an arterial clot include severe pain, paralysis of parts of the body, or both. It can result in a heart attack or stroke.
A blood clot that occurs in a vein is called a venous clot. These kinds of clots may develop more gradually with time, but they can still be deadly. The most severe kind of venous clot is called deep vein thrombosis.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the name for when a clot forms in one of the major veins deep inside your body. It’s most typical for this to take place in one of your legs, but it can also happen in your arms, pelvis, lungs, and even your brain.
The Centers for Illness Control and Avoidance (CDC) estimates that DVT, together with pulmonary embolism (a type of venous clot affecting the lungs) affects up to 900,000 Americans each year. These types of blood clots eliminate roughly 100,000 Americans each year.
There’s no way to understand whether you have a blood clot without medical assistance. If you know the most common symptoms and risk aspects, you can provide yourself the best chance at knowing when to seek an expert option.
It’s possible to have a blood clot without any obvious signs. When symptoms do appear, a few of them are the same as the signs of other diseases. Here are the early warning signs and signs of a blood clot in the leg or arm, heart, abdomen, brain, and lungs.
Blood Clot In the Leg or Arm
The most typical location for a blood clot to happen remains in your lower leg, states Akram Alashari, MD, a trauma cosmetic surgeon and important care physician at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center.
A blood clot in your leg or arm can have numerous signs, including:
- a warm experience
- reddish discoloration
Your signs will depend on the size of the clot. That’s why you may not have any signs, or you may just have minor calf swelling without a great deal of pain. If the clot is big, your entire leg could become swollen with substantial pain.
It’s not typical to have blood clots in both legs or arms at the same time. Your opportunities of having a blood clot boost if your symptoms are isolated to one leg or one arm.
Blood Clot In the Heart, or Heart Attack
A blood clot in the heart triggers a heart attack. The heart is a less common place for a blood clot, however it can still occur. A blood clot in the heart could cause your chest to injure or feel heavy. Lightheadedness and shortness of breath are other potential symptoms.
Blood Clot In the Abdomen
Severe abdominal pain and swelling could be symptoms of a blood clot someplace in your abdomen. These could also be signs of a stomach virus or gastrointestinal disorder.
Blood Clot In the Brain, or Stroke
A blood clot in the brain is also referred to as a stroke. A blood clot in your brain could trigger a sudden and extreme headache, along with some other symptoms, including sudden difficulty speaking or seeing.
Blood Clot in the Lungs, or Pulmonary Embolism
A blood clot that takes a trip to your lungs is called a pulmonary embolism (PE). Symptoms that could be a sign of a PE are:
- sudden shortness of breath that isn’t triggered by exercise
- chest pain
- palpitations, or rapid heart rate
- breathing problems
- coughing up blood
What Are the Risk Factors?
Certain risk factors increase your possibilities of having a blood clot. A recent hospital stay, particularly one that’s lengthy or related to a major surgical treatment, increases your threat of a blood clot.
Common aspects that can put you at a moderate threat for a blood clot include:
- age, especially if you’re over 65 years old
- lengthy travel, such as any journeys that caused you to sit for more than 4 hours at a time
- bed rest or being sedentary for long periods of time
- a family history of blood clots
- certain birth control pills
When to Call a Doctor
Identifying a blood clot by symptoms alone is extremely difficult. According to the CDC, nearly 50 percent of individuals with DVT have no signs. That’s why it’s finest to call your doctor if you believe that you might have one.
Signs that come out of nowhere are specifically worrying. Call your regional emergency services instantly if you experience any of the following:
- sudden shortness of breath
- chest pressure
- difficulty breathing, seeing, or speaking
Your doctor or other health care expert will be able to inform whether there’s reason for concern and can send you for more tests to identify the exact cause. In a lot of cases, the first step will be a noninvasive ultrasound. This test will reveal a picture of your veins or arteries, which can help your doctor make a medical diagnosis.