Someone with a blood clot in his leg should seek medical attention right away, as recommended by WebMD. Without treatment, it is possible for a blood clot to travel to the lungs, causing death to occur within hours.
MedlinePlus defines a deep venous thrombosis as a blood clot that forms inside one of the veins deep in the body. A DVT usually forms in the veins of the thigh or lower leg. Clots form in the legs when something disrupts the circulation of the blood through the veins. Sitting for long periods of time is one of the major risk factors for DVT, but pregnancy, obesity and recent surgery in the affected area can all cause blood clots to form.
If a blood clot breaks free from the leg and travels to the lungs, it can block the pulmonary artery, causing a pulmonary embolism. Mayo Clinic states that prompt treatment for pulmonary embolism reduces the risk of death. Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include chest pain, shortness of breath and cough.
Blood thinners are used to prevent clots from getting larger or breaking off and traveling to other parts of the body. In people who have a high risk for pulmonary embolism, a procedure called catheter-directed thrombolysis is used to break up the clot. During this procedure, an interventional radiologist delivers a clot-busting drug directly to the clot with a catheter, as described by WebMD.