Any time blood stops dripping or running through your blood vessels it has “clotted.”  This is a good thing when you are bleeding and your body forms a clot, or a scab.  Blood clots that form in arteries or veins can cause big problems, sometimes life-threatening or limb -threatening problems.  Blood clots can occur anywhere in the body that you have blood vessels which means just about anywhere.  The most common place a clot occurs is in the brain, neck, legs and arms.

A clot in the brain can cause a stroke and should you have signs of a stroke you should IMMEDIATELY CALL 9-1-1.  These symptoms include: onset of weakness that is primarily on one side of your body, facial droop, difficulty speaking, or walking.  This is a medical emergency and you should call an ambulance to get you to a hospital-based emergency room as rapidly as possible.  A blood clot in the arteries can cause a limb-threatening emergency.  If you have fairly rapid, sudden pain in your hands or feet, it is getting cool to the touch, bluish in color and you cannot feel a pulse you should seek care immediately in an emergency room.

DEEP VENOUS THROMBOSIS, also known as DVT, is a term for a blood clot most commonly found in the leg veins, although there will be similar symptoms if you have one in the veins of your arm.  W care about DVTs because they can break off and go to the lungs causing a pulmonary embolism which can be life threatening emergency.

SYMPTOMS OF DVT:

  • swelling
  • cramping
  • tenderness
  • increased discomfort with movement

 

WHO IS AT RISK?

Anyone who has experienced the following is at risk for blood clots:

  • leg fractures
  • surgery
  • major trauma
  • stroke with decreased ability to move
  • cancer patients
  • use of hormones or oral contraceptives (greater risk if you smoke as well)
  • pregnancy
  • travel without much movement for 8 hours or more

 

HOW DO WE DIAGNOSE A DVT?

An ultrasound of the legs is used to diagnose DVTs

HOW DO WE TREAT DVTs?

Blood clots are treated with anticoagulants which we can start you on in our Urgency Center.

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