Blood clots can occur under many different circumstances and in many different locations. Blood clots that form in response to an injury or a cut are beneficial, stopping potentially dangerous bleeding. However, a number of conditions can cause you to develop blood clots in critical locations, such as your lungs and brain, and they require medical attention.
Seek emergency care if you experience:
- Shortness of breath
- Pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of your chest lasting more than a few minutes
- Pain extending to your shoulder, arm, back or jaw
- A fast heartbeat
- Sudden weakness or numbness of your face, arm or leg
- Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding speech (aphasia)
- Sudden blurred, double or decreased vision
Consult your doctor if you develop these signs or symptoms in an area on an arm or leg:
To reduce your risk of developing blood clots, try these tips:
- Avoid sitting for long periods. If you travel by airplane, walk the aisle periodically. For car trips, stop and walk around frequently.
- Move. After you've had surgery or been on bed rest, the sooner you move, the better.
- Change your lifestyle. Lose weight, lower high blood pressure, stop smoking and exercise regularly.
June 20, 2013
- Blood clots. American Society of Hematology. http://www.hematology.org/Patients/Blood-Disorders/Blood-Clots/5233.aspx. Accessed May 15, 2013.
- Your guide to preventing and treating blood clots. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. http://www.ahrq.gov/patients-consumers/prevention/disease/bloodclots.html. Accessed May 15, 2013.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed May 13, 2013.
- Understand Your Risk for Excessive Blood Clotting. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/Understand-Your-Risk-for-Excessive-Blood-Clotting_UCM_448771_Article.jsp. Accessed May 15, 2013.
- What is excessive blood clotting? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ebc/. Accessed May 15, 2013.