What’s a blood clot?
Blood clots are clumps of blood that have morphed from a liquid to a semi-solid or gel-like state. Clotting usually prevents the body from losing too much blood in the case of injury, but when these clots don’t dissolve on their own it can be a dangerous and life-threatening situation. When clots remain immobile, they are generally harmless, but if the clot breaks free, traveling through the veins to the heart and lungs it becomes dangerous.
Types of blood clots:
The circulatory system is made of vessels called veins and arteries. Blood clots can form in both. Blood clots that form in veins are called venous clots and blood clots that form in arteries are called arterial clots. Arterial clots usually present with immediate symptoms and require emergency treatment. Venous clots might build up slowly over time, but can still be life-threatening.
What are the symptoms of blood clots?
Symptoms of blood clots depend on where the blood clot is located in your body.
- Leg and Arm
- Warm sensation
- Reddish color
- Chest pains
- Heaviness in the chest
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Sudden severe headache
- Difficulties seeing
- Difficulties speaking
- Altered mental status
- Physical difficulties
- Stroke-like symptoms
- Sudden shortness of breath (not caused by exercise)
- Palpitations or rapid heart rate
- Chest pains
- Breathing difficulties
- Coughing up blood
When to see a doctor for blood clots
It’s difficult to diagnose a blood clot on symptoms alone. Many people have no symptoms at all, so it’s best to call your doctor even if you think you might have a blood clot. Some symptoms that are especially concerning and cause for immediate emergency care are:
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Difficulty breathing, speaking, or seeing
- Chest pressure
Everyone was pleasant and efficient! My diagnosis was low potassium. They took very good care of me! I felt so much better the next day! Thank you!– Mary