What do they do if you have a blood clot?

What are blood clots?

Blood clots occur when blood forms into a semi-solid lump. They can form anywhere in the body but are most common in the legs and lungs. The clot can form within minutes, but it may take an hour or more.

What are the signs and symptoms of blood clots?

The signs and symptoms of blood clots in the legs can include:

  • pain or tenderness in the calf or thigh
  • swelling or warmth in the affected limb
  • redness or discoloration of the skin

The signs and symptoms of blood clots in the lungs can include:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain or discomfort
  • unexplained cough (may or may not include bloody sputum)

What are the risk factors for developing blood clots?

The following factors can increase the risk of developing blood clots:

  • being over the age of 60
  • being pregnant or having recently given birth
  • obesity
  • smoking
  • having a history of blood clots
  • having cancer
  • having certain medical conditions, such as heart or lung disease or diabetes

How are blood clots diagnosed?

Blood clots are typically diagnosed through imaging tests, such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) scan, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Your doctor may also order blood tests, such as a D-dimer test, to help confirm the diagnosis.

What treatments are available for blood clots?

Treatment for blood clots may involve medication, procedures, or a combination of both. The following are the most common treatments for blood clots:

  • Anticoagulant medication: This medication can help prevent the clot from growing and keep new clots from forming.
  • Thrombolytic medication: This is a medication that can break up an existing clot.
  • Surgical procedures: These procedures are more invasive and typically reserved for more severe cases of clotting.
  • Inferior vena cava (IVC) filter: This is a small device that is inserted into a vein in the abdomen to catch any clots that may break off and travel to the lungs.

What can you do to prevent blood clots?

The following are some things you can do to help reduce your risk of blood clots:

  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avoid sitting or standing in one position for too long
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Quit smoking
  • Get up and move around every hour or so if you’re on a long flight or car trip
  • Wear compression stockings if recommended by your doctor
  • Discuss any concerns you have about blood clots with your doctor

What are the complications of blood clots?

Complications of blood clots can include:

  • Pulmonary embolism: This is when a blood clot breaks free and travels to the lungs.
  • Stroke: This is when a blood clot travels to the brain and blocks blood flow.
  • Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): This is when a blood clot forms in deep veins, usually in the legs.
  • Post-thrombotic syndrome: This is a condition that can occur after a blood clot and is characterized by long-term pain and swelling in the affected limb.

What is the outlook for blood clots?

The outlook for blood clots depends on the severity of the clot and whether or not it has caused any damage to surrounding tissue. Blood clots that are caught early and treated promptly typically have a good prognosis.

When should you call a doctor?

If you experience any signs or symptoms of blood clots, such as sudden chest pain, shortness of breath, or leg pain or swelling, seek medical attention right away. It’s important to remember that blood clots can be life-threatening if left untreated.


Blood clots can be a serious medical condition that require prompt diagnosis and treatment. If you have any concerns about blood clots, speak to your doctor right away. Remember that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of blood clots, such as maintaining a healthy weight and exercising regularly.


  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/blood-clots/symptoms-causes/syc-20360329
  • https://www.healthline.com/health/blood-clot#symptoms
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/185993
  • https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/blood-clots
  • https://www.webmd.com/dvt/how-to-prevent-dvt