When a paper cut or shaving cuts occur, blood clots can save the day and stop the bleeding. A blood clot, on the other hand, may be a deadly health risk that can kill you. Blood clots occur for a variety of reasons and recognizing one’s symptoms might literally be life-saving. We spoke with medical experts about what to know about blood clots and indicators that you have one. As always, please talk to your doctor for professional advice.
1 — How Blood Clots Happen
“A perfect storm occurs when blood vessels are subjected to extreme strain and strain,” according to Dr. Thomas Gut, D.O. “It was typically caused by vessel damage and clotting activation in a region where blood isn’t flowing smoothly.”
“Generally, blood clots develop when the body senses an injury to a region and forms a natural plug using platelets to stop the bleeding,” says Sean Marchese, M.D. “However, certain clotting factors disorders can create blood clots when they’re not needed. Autoimmune diseases, cancer, infections, and organ failures can all disrupt the sensitive clotting cascade and cause blood clots that harm the body.”
2 — Sudden Shortness of Breath
“This might be a symptom of a blood clot developing or traveling to your lungs,” says Dr. Gut. “A clot in the lungs can put a strain on the cardiovascular system and lead to heart failure.”
3 — Swelling and Cramping of a Thigh After a Long Car Ride
“If a cramp and swelling develops in one of your thighs after a long automobile trip, this might be an indication that a clot has formed in your leg, particularly if blood has pooled and hasn’t circulated properly,” says Dr. Gut.
4 — Coughing up Blood
“Coughing up blood might be an indication that the pressure within your lungs has risen as a result of a traveling clot’s impact,” explains Dr. Gut. “This should merit immediate care.”
“One of the most typical places where blood clots may travel is the lungs,” states Dr. Marchese. “The bronchioles are tiny airways that aid in the exchange of air and can very easily trap blood clots, known as pulmonary embol. If you experience shortness of breath without activity or a persistent cough with no signs of infection, see a doctor right away.”
5 — Chest Pain or Changes in Heart Rate
“A blood clot that arrives in the heart can get trapped in the delicate tissues that control one’s heartbeat,” explains Dr. Marchese. “When a blood clot goes to the heart, it is generally accompanied by severe chest discomfort or difficulty breathing. If you experience new chest discomfort, arm or shoulder pain, difficulties breathing, or sudden changes in cardiac rhythm, contact your doctor immediately.”