The Dangers of Blood Clots

Not all blood clots are dangerous. Blood clotting is part of the natural healing process when you cut or injure yourself. In order for blood to stop spilling out of a cut or open wound, a clot forms to stop it. This type of blood clot dissolves naturally over time as the cut or injury heals.

But when a blood clot forms inside a vein or artery, it can be dangerous. Our expert vascular surgeons and vein specialists here at Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center share what you need to know about the causes, symptoms, and potential dangers of blood clots.

What is a blood clot?

A blood clot is when your blood changes from its liquid form to a gel-like or solid clump. As we mentioned above, blood clotting prevents an injury from bleeding out. But sometimes blood clots form without an injury, inside your body.

They can form inside an artery, which carries oxygenated blood from your heart to your organs. They can also develop in your veins, which transport blood back to your heart. When clots develop in veins or arteries, they don’t dissolve naturally and can lead to:

Blood clots can even result in death.

When is a blood clot dangerous?

When a blood clot forms, it prevents blood from flowing to your organs or to your heart. If the blood clot stays in one place, like your arm or leg, you may experience swelling, pain, and redness. 

If the blood clot breaks off and travels to your lungs, brain, or heart, it can be dangerous and deadly.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a clot develops deep in a major vein in your leg, and it can break off and travel to your lungs or brain. DVT affects about 900,000 people a year and kills about 100,000 of them. 

Know the symptoms of a blood clot so you can get medical attention immediately, if needed. Symptoms depend on the location of the clot.

For example, if the blood clot is in your brain, you experience weakness in your face, arms, and legs and also difficulty with your speech and vision. If the clot is in your lung, you feel sharp chest pain, shortness of breath, and a racing heart rate, and may cough up blood. 

Other symptoms include:

Blood clot treatment options

The treatment for your blood clot depends on its location and your symptoms. In some cases, if the blood clot has not moved, we may recommend blood thinners or clot-busting drugs to dissolve it.

Another option is delivering medication directly to the clot through a catheter. If necessary, we may recommend surgery to remove the clot.

Do you think you have a blood clot or are at risk of developing one? Contact us at Suffolk Vascular & Vein Center with offices in Port Jefferson Station, Hauppauge, and Riverhead, New York, for an appointment, or schedule one online.

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