Symptoms of blood clots in the legs may include cramps or Charley horses. The affected leg may swell and be painful, tender or warm to the touch with bluish or reddish discoloration, according to National Blood Clot Alliance. All blood clots require prompt medical evaluation and treatment.
Blood clots develop deep within the veins in the legs and sometimes in the arms in what is known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. Should a blood clot dislodge during deep vein thrombosis and make its way to the lung, a pulmonary embolism occurs. Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening condition, as stated by National Blood Clot Alliance. Symptoms to watch for include sudden shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, an unexplained cough that may be accompanied by bloody mucus, and sharp, stabbing pain in the chest that may grow worse when breathing deeply.
While symptoms of a blood clot are alarming and require evaluation by a medical professional, symptoms of pulmonary embolism are life-threatening and require immediate emergency care. Up to 600,000 people develop blood clots each year in the United States, and of those, around 100,000, or one out of every three, dies from the condition, according to National Blood Clot Alliance.