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:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Numbness
  • Pain

Self-care measures
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.
Jun. 20, 2013