A BLOOD clot is useful to stop a person from bleeding when cut or injured. However, when a clot begins to develop in the veins – which are responsible for taking oxygen-poor blood back to the heart – it could be dangerous.
Experts at RadiologyInfo – funded by the Radiological Society of North America (RSNA) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) – detailed symptoms of a venous clot, as it is known. Developing slowly over time, the symptoms only become more noticeable the longer the issue exists. In the legs, where a venous clot can form, one of six symptoms can occur individually, or at the same time in different combinations:
Clots that occur in larger veins are called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), with the term “thrombosis” indicating that the blood clot is stationary.
The NHS warned that a DVT “can be dangerous” so it requires medical attention as soon as you suspect you have one.
You are advised to call NHS 111 or to book an appointment as soon as possible with your doctor if any of the following apply:
“These symptoms also happen in your arm or tummy if that’s where the blood clot is,” the NHS added.
Those with a DVT who experience breathlessness or chest pain are urged to call 999 or visit their nearest hospital’s A&E ward.
“DVT can be very serious because blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and get stuck in your lungs,” the NHS explained.
This is known as a pulmonary embolism, which can be life-threatening.
A pulmonary embolism requires hospitalisation, as medics will inject you with an anticoagulant medicine to prevent blood clots from getting bigger.
The anticoagulant medication will also help to prevent new blood clots from forming.
It is normal practice for a patient with pulmonary embolism to be on anticoagulant medication for at least five days.
This is likely to be followed up by a three-month prescription of anticoagulant tablets.
“You should make a full recovery from a pulmonary embolism if it’s spotted and treated early,” said the NHS.
Before a medical emergency, such as a pulmonary embolism occurs, if you suspect you have a blood clot in your leg, speak to your doctor.
One of the first tests might involve a venous ultrasound, said the experts at RadiologyInfo.
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