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
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Chances highest among those getting emergency cesareans

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

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

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Excess Weight Linked to Blood Clot Risk in Kids

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

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Results led Sloan Kettering to change pre-op practices

The Pill, Hormone Therapy Safe for Women Taking Blood Thinners: Study

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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

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Coagadex Approved for Rare Clotting Disorder

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Too Much TV Time Tied to Higher Odds for Blood Clot in Lung: Study

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

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

Heart Association's Stroke Guidelines Support Clot-Removing Device

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Pharmacists Key to Whether Patients Take Blood Thinners

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New Stroke Prevention Efforts May Be Paying Off

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

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

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

Newer Blood Thinner Beats Heparin for Certain Heart Attacks

Swedish study finds fondaparinux is effective, and reduces bleeding risk

More Stroke Patients Getting Clot-Buster Quickly, Study Shows

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

Blood-Thinning Drug Savaysa Approved

Designed to treat dangerous clots and prevent stroke

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Savaysa works like warfarin but carries less bleeding risk

Health Tip: Move Around on a Plane

On longer flights, walk through the cabin every 30 minutes

Stent Treatment May Lower Stroke Disability

Treatment must be given within 6 hours after a stroke starts, researchers say