Blood is supposed to clot as this is the way in which the body stops bleeding, according to Mayo Clinic. We have the chance to see this quite often, and basically we have all seen a blood clot in the form of a bruise. However, sometimes blood clots when it is not supposed to. When something like this happens, you might suffer a stroke, a heart attack, or any other serious problem.
Here are a few tips on how to recognize a dangerous blood clot and protect yourself or a loved one:
1. Swelling in one limb
Swelling in the limb often indicates deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a blood clot that prevents blood flow in the circulatory system. As explained by Prevention, DVT is quite dangerous as it prevents oxygen from reaching the organs.
As estimated by the American Society of Hematology, DVT affects over 900,000 Americans annually. Even worse, it kills up to 100,000 every year. This is why learning the common symptoms and risk factors is of utmost importance!
2. Leg pain or tenderness
Pain or tenderness in the leg is a very common symptom of deep vein thrombosis, according to the National Blood Alliance. This type of leg pain is typically described as Charley horse or a cramp.
3. Red streaks on your skin
As mentioned in the very beginning, a bruise is a form of blood clot. However, red steaks running along the veins are anything but a normal bruise. If you see such streaks, seek medical attention right away. These streaks often make the limb warm to the touch.
4. Chest pain with deep breathing
Chest pain with deep breathing is a common sign of a blood clot in the lungs, the National Blood Clot Alliance notes. This type of blood clot could be fatal, so seek medical attention right away if you notice any of these symptoms.
5. Shortness of breath
Shortness of breath is yet another warning sign of blood clot in the lungs. Dizziness, racing heart, and fluttering in the chest are also possible. Any of these requires immediate medical attention.
6. Unexplained cough
If you experience unexplained cough, pay attention to your breath, chest, and heart rate. If the unexplained cough comes along with these symptoms, seek medical attention.
7. Severe Headache
Sudden and severe headache accompanied with difficulty seeing or speaking often indicates blood clot in the brain.
8. Abdominal pain
Severe abdominal pain along with swelling is a common sight on a blood clot in the abdomen. However, it might also indicate food poisoning and stomach virus.
What are the risk factors?
There are a few factors that increase the risk of having a blood clot. For instance, a hospital stay, particularly one that is lengthy or related to a surgery, increases the chances of having one.
Other risk factors include:
Certain birth control pills
Age, especially if you’re over the age of 65
Bed rest or being sedentary for long periods of time