Clots Health News

Under normal circumstances, the blood will clot, or coagulate, in response to an injury in order to halt excessive bleeding somewhere in the body. Usually these clots simply dissolve on their own. But in certain situations, a clot can form without the presence of an injury and does not dissolve naturally. That's when a blood clot can become a health problem that warrants medical attention.

Abnormal blood clots can occur for a variety of reasons. They occur more often in the elderly, and you're at a greater risk if you don’t move around a lot, have had a recent surgery or are obese. Other risk factors include bad bruises or broken bones, taking certain hormones, varicose veins, certain heart problems or a family history of blood clots, among others.

Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), for example, is a type of clot that forms in a major vein of the leg or, in some cases, in the arms, pelvis or other large veins in the body.

Symptoms and Complications

It’s often difficult to tell if you have a blood clot. However, the body may offer some warning signs. These can include pain, swelling or soreness in an arm or leg. You might also notice skin redness or warmth at the site of the clot.

The greatest health risks from blood clots stem from the complications that they can cause. For example, a blood clot can break loose and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism. This may cause such symptoms as chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, breathing problems, a bloody cough or fainting. Clots can also travel to the heart, brain or abdomen and cause additional problems in these parts of the body, as well.

Treatment of Blood Clots

The risk for blood clots can be reduced with regular exercise and a healthy diet that includes less salt. It may also help to wear loose-fitting clothes, or compression stockings if prescribed by your doctor. Other strategies that may reduce the risk for blood clots include raising your legs above your heart occasionally from a lying position, raising the foot of your bed a few inches or taking breaks to get up and move from time to time if you're on a long trip.

Blood clots can be treated with medications that thin the blood (anticoagulants) or specific "clot-busting" medications that break them up. In some cases, clots may need to be removed with a catheter or through open surgery.

SOURCES: American Society of Hematology; U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

Date Posted
Article Title
5/16/2017
Heart Attack Risk Spikes After Respiratory Infection, Study Finds

Even the common cold was linked to a 13-fold increased risk for about a week

5/12/2017
Blood Thinners May Prevent Dementia in Atrial Fibrillation Patients

Even people with a low risk of stroke could benefit, researchers say

4/24/2017
Common Food Nutrient Tied to Risky Blood Clotting

Gut bacteria reacts to compound in eggs and meat to produce chemical that ups heart disease risk, study says

4/3/2017
For Firefighters, Another Danger: The Heart

Exposure to high heat and physical exertion may increase risk of heart attacks, study says

3/15/2017
Stent Patients Face Higher Risk of Death After Bleeding, Clots

Prolonged treatment to prevent clots may increase bleeding risk in some patients, researchers warn

3/14/2017
Many With Irregular Heartbeat Not on Meds They Need: Study

More than 80 percent of patients who suffered a stroke weren't getting adequate anti-clotting therapy

2/28/2017
Study Tracks Bleeding Risk From Common Blood Thinners

Research looked specifically at bleeds inside the skull and near the brain

2/23/2017
More Evidence Ties Gum Health to Stroke Risk

Study shows increasing risk of brain blockage with more severe gum disease

1/11/2017
Blood Levels of Meat-Linked Chemical Tied to Odds of Heart Trouble

Produced when meat, eggs and dairy are digested, TMAO may trigger plaque buildup in vessels, researchers explain

12/23/2016
Blood Banks Face Seasonal Shortages, New Screening Rules

Rare complication of transfusions has led to beefed-up testing requirements

12/1/2016
Testosterone Therapy May Be Linked to Serious Blood Clots

Risk peaks in the first 6 months of hormone treatment, but overall odds are low, study finds

11/1/2016
Gene Test May ID Chemo Patients at Risk of Clots: Study

Venous thromboembolism is a serious complication of cancer treatment

10/28/2016
Device Approved to Prevent Second Strokes in Certain Heart Patients

It's for people who had prior stroke related to a hole in the heart

10/19/2016
Clots May Be the Cause of Fainting in Some Elderly

But doctors don't often suspect pulmonary embolism, researchers say

10/4/2016
C-Section Raises Risk of Blood Clots After Childbirth: Review

Chances highest among those getting emergency cesareans

9/14/2016
Minorities Less Likely to Get Clot-Clearing Stroke Drug

But study couldn't determine why white male patients were more likely to get tPA in hospital

9/6/2016
Clot Retrieval Device Approval Expanded

Instruments help avoid disability among stroke patients

8/29/2016
Fewer Drugs in Pipeline to Treat World's No. 1 Killer

While number of cancer drugs rose, development of new heart medicines stalled, study finds

7/26/2016
Is Binge-Watching Hazardous to Your Health?

Risk of death from blood clot rises along with TV time, study finds

6/20/2016
Aspirin Often Wrongly Prescribed for Atrial Fibrillation

Blood thinners -- not aspirin -- dramatically cut the risk of stroke, researchers say

5/6/2016
Is Daily Blood Thinner Needed for Irregular Heartbeat?

Smartphone app may help some people with atrial fibrillation take drugs 'as needed,' study suggests

5/5/2016
Widely Used Heart Drug Tied to Dementia Risk

Both warfarin and the atrial fibrillation it's often used to treat may raise risk, study suggests

5/5/2016
Sleep Apnea May Raise Heart Risks in People With Pacemakers

Study found the combo was linked to raised odds of irregular heartbeat

3/16/2016
Many With Irregular Heartbeat Missing Out on Stroke-Preventing Treatments

Less than half at highest risk take recommended blood-thinning medication, study finds

2/18/2016
Surgery, Stents Equally Effective for Opening Neck Arteries: Study

Both procedures reduce risk of stroke due to narrowed arteries, researchers find

2/11/2016
Neanderthal DNA May Play Role in Modern Human Health

Genetic legacy can affect risk for nicotine addiction, depression, blood clots and stroke, research suggests

1/21/2016
Excess Weight Linked to Blood Clot Risk in Kids

One in three children with a clot was obese, study finds

1/13/2016
Study: Tissue Heart Valves Seem Best for Middle-Aged Patients

They wear out faster but don't carry the clotting risks that metal valves do, research shows

12/29/2015
Safe to Use Blood Thinner Before Major Cancer Surgery, Study Finds

Results led Sloan Kettering to change pre-op practices

12/22/2015
The Pill, Hormone Therapy Safe for Women Taking Blood Thinners: Study

Finding may lay to rest the notion that hormonal treatments raise odds for recurrent clots, expert says

12/17/2015
Horror Films Really Can Curdle Your Blood

Reaction to sudden fear might have had an evolutionary benefit, researchers say

11/10/2015
Heart Valve Patients Who Manage Their Own Blood Thinners May Do Better

Study found self-monitoring was linked to a lower risk of death after 5 years

11/3/2015
Extracting Clot Beats Clot-Busting Drug Alone in Study of Stroke Patients

People who had removal procedure were more likely to have functional independence after 90 days

10/21/2015
Coagadex Approved for Rare Clotting Disorder

First coagulation therapy sanctioned for Factor X deficiency

10/16/2015
FDA Approves Drug to Reverse Blood Thinner's Effect

Praxbind cleared for emergency use with Pradaxa when bleeding can't be controlled

8/31/2015
Too Much TV Time Tied to Higher Odds for Blood Clot in Lung: Study

To reduce your risk, take a break, stand up and walk around while watching, researcher suggests

8/26/2015
Most Don't Need 'Bridging' When They Stop Warfarin Temporarily

Clot risk doesn't appear to rise without additional drug treatment, study finds

7/20/2015
Study Sees No Link Between Testosterone Therapy and Blood Clots

Finding was based on data from more than 30,000 American men, 40 and older

7/7/2015
How Long Do Patients With Clots in the Lung Need Blood Thinners?

New French study suggests that anti-clotting drugs may be needed for the very long term

7/7/2015
Wide Variations Seen in U.S. Stroke Care

Only small percentage of patients receive clot-busting drug or other urgent treatment, study shows

6/29/2015
Heart Association's Stroke Guidelines Support Clot-Removing Device

If clot-busting drugs don't work, device can be used to pull the blockage out through the artery

6/2/2015
Blood Thinners OK for Cancers That Spread to Brain, Study Finds

Treatment didn't cause significant increase in bleeding in head

5/27/2015
Newer Birth Control Pills May Slightly Raise Blood Clot Risk

Study finds effect with brands such as Yaz, Yasmin and Desogen, but risk to any one user remains very low

4/14/2015
Pharmacists Key to Whether Patients Take Blood Thinners

In study, almost 30 percent of people with atrial fibrillation didn't use Pradaxa as instructed

3/31/2015
New Stroke Prevention Efforts May Be Paying Off

CDC study finds fewer patients treated in ERs for blood clots in the brain

3/16/2015
Manual Clot Removal After Heart Attack May Not Help, Could Harm

Researchers also report that procedure appears to increase the risk for stroke

3/16/2015
Newer Blood Thinner May Improve Outcomes for Heart Attack Survivors

Company-funded trial finds lower rates of heart attack, death with Brilinta versus placebo

2/23/2015
Aspirin 'Resistance' May Make for Worse Strokes: Study

Daily dose won't prevent dangerous clotting in some people, researchers say

2/17/2015
Newer Blood Thinner Beats Heparin for Certain Heart Attacks

Swedish study finds fondaparinux is effective, and reduces bleeding risk

2/11/2015
More Stroke Patients Getting Clot-Buster Quickly, Study Shows

Many local hospitals now comfortable giving tPA drip, then shipping patients to advanced medical centers