Blood clotting can actually be a good thing. Your body naturally clumps up your blood to stop the bleeding when you’re injured. But when a blood clot form inside your veins, it can be life threatening. Although we hear about blood clots more often in adults, it can happen at any age. It’s important to seek medical help or go to the ER if you’re concerned about unexplained pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling or redness. If you want to know some of the basics behind blood clots, here are common questions we get from ER patients.
Common Questions from Blood Clot Patients
How Does a Blood Clot Form?
Blood clots form when there is damage to the lining of a blood vessel. Also, if your blood isn’t flowing like it should, it could build up at your lungs and heart, causing platelets to stick together. Some common health risks like smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and genetics can lead to blood clots. Other causes include trauma to the body, surgery, prolonged immobility, birth control pills, hormone treatments, and other medications.
What Are the Dangers of a Blood Clot?
An abnormal blood clot that forms in a vein located in a leg or pelvis, also known as deep vein thrombosis, can break off and travel to your lungs. This is known as a pulmonary embolism, which is a life threatening medical condition when not treated right away.
How is a Blood Clot Treated?
As a patient, your doctor will examine your medical history, the location of the blood clot, and the cause. Depending on the findings, you may have to undergo surgery, be prescribed anticoagulation medications, or a combination of the two. To prevent future blood clots, the doctor may encourage you to make lifestyle changes. Some recommendations may include exercising more, quitting smoking, and starting a diet that is low in cholesterol, fat and sugar.