Blots clots occur when blood platelets form a plug and coagulate, or clot, and embed inside a vein, blocking circulation. This is also known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. When that blood clot travels through the body, serious complications can occur. DVT is common in people who had just had surgery and in people over the age of 40.
The symptoms of blood clots traveling through the body include difficulty breathing, fainting, rapid heartbeat, chest pain, swelling in the legs, mild fever or a cough that sometimes produces blood, and blood in the stool or urine. These are signs that there is a serious complication and your doctor should be called immediately.
You may get a blood clot if you have recently had surgery, are over the age of 40, take hormones, have a broken bone, are obese, are confined to a bed or chair for long periods of time, have recently given birth, or if you or a family member have a history of blood clots or heart problems.
There are several ways to help prevent the blood clots from forming, such as wearing loose fitting clothing, staying active and changing positions frequently when sitting for long periods of time/ Your doctor can prescribe compression stockings, or you can elevate your legs higher then your heart a few minutes a few times a day.
There are several treatments available for DVT. Depending on the severity of the clot and where it is located, your doctor could prescribe anticoagulants that will prevent the clot from getting worse/ Hospitalization may be required to allow for close observation to prevent a pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolisms occur when the blood clot reaches the lungs. It's a serious and sometimes fatal condition.
If you experience any of the symptoms described above you should call your doctor immediately and go to the hospital emergency room. Pulmonary embolisms are the third highest cause of death in the United States. Check with your doctor for any concerns or questions.