How do you know if you have a blood clot?


Quick Answer

Blood clot symptoms vary depending on whether they're venous or arterial, according to MedicineNet. Venous clots usually occur in the arms or legs. Their symptoms include swelling, warmth, redness and pain at the site of the clot. Arterial clots produce symptoms that depend on the clot's location.

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Full Answer

The first symptom of an arterial clot is pain, which occurs due to oxygen not reaching tissues as the blood supply reduces. Symptoms vary according to the clot's location. For example, heart attacks produce chest pain. Clots in the arms and legs cause sensation loss, and bowl clots cause bloody diarrhea, according to MedicineNet. Blood clots in the bowel may also cause intense pain.

Some blood clot symptoms should prompt a call to 911. Shortness of breath; extreme tightness in the chest; pain that reaches the arms, back or jaw; sudden weakness; loss of sensation down one side; or loss of vision indicates that emergency care is needed. The Mayo Clinic advises that swelling, redness, numbness and pain in the leg should prompt a call to a doctor.

The Mayo Clinic offers ways to avoid blood clots. Not sitting for long periods and moving around following surgery reduce the risk of clots. Losing weight, quitting smoking, exercising and lowering blood pressure are also helpful for preventing blood clots.

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