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How do you treat a hematoma of the leg?

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Physicians treat hematomas, or blood clots in the leg, with blood thinners, drugs called clot busters, vena cava filters and compression stockings, according to Mayo Clinic. One of the goals of treatment is to make sure the clot does not break off and travel to the lungs.

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Blood thinners, also called anticoagulants, suppress the blood's clotting ability, explains Mayo Clinic. Though these anticoagulants do not remove preexisting clots, they prevent them from getting bigger and lower the risk of more clots forming. Commonly used blood thinners include enocaparin and fondaparinux. These blood thinners are injectable, while other blood thinners, such as warfarin, are taken orally. The treatment begins with injections of the anticoagulant heparin, and the other medications are added after a few days.

Doctors use vena cava filters to control blood clots in people who can't tolerate blood thinners, notes Mayo Clinic. This filter is inserted into the into the largest vein in the body, which is found in the abdomen. Some patients are fitted with compression stockings, which apply pressure to the leg to reduce the risk of additional clotting.

Drugs called thrombolytics are administered to patients with life-threatening blood clots, explains

Mayo Clinic. These drugs are given intravenously, and because of their serious side effects, they are typically administered in hospital intensive care units.

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