How to Spot and Prevent a Blood Clot

Blood clot in leg

You may be thinking more about blood clots following recent headlines, and The Doctors want you to be informed about blood clots and how to possibly prevent them.

There are two main types of blood clots explains The American Blood Clot Association.

Thrombus: Which "has the potential to block an artery and inhibit adequate blood flow to an organ such as the brain or the heart, but typically doesn’t move."

Embolus: "[This type of] clot or part of a blood clot that has broken loose from its foundation and travels to different parts of the body through the bloodstream. This type of clot is especially dangerous due to this ability to travel – such as from the leg to vessels that transport blood to the brain, the heart, or the lungs."

Signs and symptoms of a blood clot depend on the type, according to The American Blood Clot Association

Signs of a Deep Vein Thrombosis (a clot that forms in a major vein of your body, most commonly in your legs, but can also occur in your arms)  include: 

  • Swelling in the affected leg or arm, and may include swelling in the foot or ankle. It is most typically in one leg or arm.
  • Pain and tenderness in the leg or arm. Someone may experience pain in the calf that feels like a cramp or a charley horse. It may also feel like muscle soreness or joint pain.
  • Skin discoloration with redness being most common, but the skin may also be blue or purple in color.
  • The affected area of the leg or arm could warm to the touch.
  • In many instances, there are no noticeable symptoms. 

Signs of a Pulmonary Embolism include:

  • Sudden and unexplained shortness of breath.
  • Sharp chest pain that may worsen with a deep breath.
  • Dizziness or feeling light-headed
  • Rapid or a racing pulse
  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Bloody cough

If you suspect you have a blood clot, seek medical attention right away, as they can be fatal. Health experts explain developing blood clots can be due to a number of possible reasons, including being inactive for too long, and smoking and obesity may increase someone's risk for clots.

Getting plenty of movement and activity can help prevent clots, and this is important to remember when on a long airplane flight and if you are on bed rest. Treating blood clots is something your doctor should advise you about, but changes to diet, increased exercise and possible medication can help with the issue. 

More: Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine: What You Need to Know about Rare Blood Clots

More: Dangers of Blood Clots during Pregnancy

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