Blood clots of any size can become life-threatening issues. Learn how little and big blood clots happen and how to prevent them with these vital facts.
An estimate of 900,000 people in the U.S.A are affected by blood clots, or Venous Thromboembolism, every year. Out of these, up to 100,000 thousand may die due to this disease.
Both, big blood clots and smaller ones are usually treatable. However, in order to treat them effectively, you need to be familiar with the symptoms, causes and treatment options available.
So, let’s look into five important facts that’ll help you understand this better!
Blood is usually in a liquid state. When you accidentally injure or bruise yourself, you begin to lose blood. At times like these, platelets help your blood transform into a solid or semi-solid state creating a ‘clot’ to prevent the bleeding.
Usually, this clot dissolves after its done its job, and all is well again. The problem arises when these clots do not dissolve. This is usually common of clots in veins. Even so, an immobile clot may not necessarily be harmful.
But, once this clot detaches itself and moves through your bloodstream, it can travel to your heart, lungs and other organs causing irreparable damage.
Your blood flow occurs through veins and arteries. So a clot can form in either. An arterial clot can be particularly painful and cause heart attacks, strokes, paralysis and more.
The clotting that occurs deep in your veins is known as deep vein thrombosis. These kinds of clots generally occur in various body parts like your limbs, arms and can even occur in your brain. Not all clots are built the same and can vary in terms of causes, symptoms, and treatment.
For example, a clot in your lungs may cause shortness of breath, but one in your brain might make you feel dizzy.
The magnitude of your pain can have a direct correlation to the size of your clot. Common symptoms for a blood clot in your leg can include swelling, sensitivity, discoloration, and warmth. If you experience any of these systems, you should visit a doctor immediately.
But keep in mind, a smaller clot may not be simple to identify. Look out for minor swellings in your leg, and any hints of pain.
The truth is, if you’re a human, you’re prone to injury. And if you’re prone to injury, you’re prone to blood clots.
However, in addition to these factors like aging, pregnancy, smoking, hormone replacement, lack of movement for extended periods, height and obesity can increase your chances of clotting.
Now for some optimism. There are tons of medications that work at reducing the risk of blood clots. Anticoagulants prevent the clotting of the blood and Thrombolytics dissolve them once they form.
In more severe cases of big blood clots, medication may not be enough. In these circumstances, your doctor may prescribe more invasive procedures like catheter-directed thrombolysis or thrombectomy (surgery).
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