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Blood Clots

Learn the Symptoms of Dangerous Clots

When you’re injured, proteins, platelets, and cells combine to form blood clots. Then, the clots stop the injury from bleeding, so you don’t lose too much blood. After they perform their job, your body breaks them down and expels them. As long as this happens, they don’t pose a danger to your overall health. In fact, they are a necessary component of healing and recovering from injuries.

Unfortunately, clots can also form inside your blood vessels when you don’t have an injury. When they form for unknown causes, your body doesn’t break them down and expel them. Then, the clots are free to travel to other areas of your body, creating a medical emergency that can lead to a stroke or another issue.

Up to 100,00 people die in the United States due to untreated blood clots, according to the CDC. You can protect yourself by going over the symptoms that indicate a medical emergency.

When Is a Blood Clot an Emergency?

Both deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolisms are medical emergencies. Deep vein thrombosis refers to blood clots in the arms and legs and causes symptoms that include:

  • Warm skin on the affected leg
  • Swelling, discoloration, and/or redness in the leg
  • Pain and discomfort that isn’t related to an injury

You can develop a blood clot in the leg or arm if your vein is damaged from an injury or surgery. Also, the risk increases if you’re more than 60 years of age, pregnant, or overweight. Sitting for prolonged periods, smoking, cancer, and heart failure also increase the risk. If you notice any symptoms, visit the emergency room immediately.

You have a pulmonary embolism if you have a blood clot in a deep vein that travels to your lung. Symptoms include:

  • Breathing problems, especially shortness of breath
  • Coughing up blood
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain, especially when taking deep breaths
  • Sweating excessively

You are most at risk for developing a pulmonary embolism if you have recently undergone surgery or you have heart disease or cancer. Also, COVID-19 and clotting disorders can lead to pulmonary embolisms. Keep an eye out for any blood clot symptoms if you are at high risk.

Are Period Blood Clots Emergencies?

Without period blood clots, your body would lose too much blood. These clots often appear larger than they are because of the tissue from the uterine lining mixed in, so they can be alarming.

They are rarely a cause for concern. However, you should contact your gynecologist or visit the emergency room if you are also experiencing severe abdominal pain, heavy bleeding, or bleeding that lasts eight or more days.

If you think you have a dangerous blood clot, do not wait to seek medical attention. Call 911 or visit an emergency room for diagnosis and treatment. Because they can be so dangerous, immediate medical attention can save your life.