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What to Do if You Have Leg Blood Clots?
- What blood clot in the leg do
- Symptoms of blood clots in the legs
- What to do if you think you have leg blood clots
When you have a blood clot embedded in a vein within your thigh, lower leg or in your pelvis, it is known as deep vein thrombosis. Blood clots form and block or reduce the flow of blood through the veins of the legs, which circulate blood from the extremities back to the heart. Such a blockage can cause swelling, pain or a feeling of increased warmth in the leg that is affected.
The blood clots that form in the veins of the legs can also cause irritation or inflammation, and this is known as thrombophlebitis. Severe complications can occur with deep vein thrombosis if a clot that has formed in the vein breaks free, or embolizes. The clot can then travel through the bloodstream in the vein, and can cause blood vessels to become blocked, for example in the lungs (known as the pulmonary arteries). This is known as a pulmonary embolism, and such a condition can cause difficulty in breathing, and may even lead to death, depending on the severity of the blockage.
Identifying Deep Vein Thrombosis
Symptoms of leg blood clots can manifest themselves in the affected leg, particularly when a clot breaks free and causes an obstruction in the blood flow, causing inflammation. Symptoms may include the gradual onset of pain in the affected leg, redness and swelling. The affected leg may also be warm to the touch, and the pain in your leg may become worse whilst bending your foot. You may also experience leg cramps, particularly at night, and you may experience some whitish or bluish discoloration of the skin. However, many people who actually have deep vein thrombosis may not actually experience any symptoms as a result of the condition.
What To Do
If you have any reason to suspect that you may have a blood clot, call your doctor or healthcare provider immediately. Although a clot in the veins of the legs may resolve itself, the consequence are potentially life-threatening, and include pulmonary embolism heart attack and stroke. The potential consequences are serious enough that immediate medical attention is warranted and necessary. In fact, your doctor may instruct you to go to the hospital immediately, particularly if you have swelling or leg pain coupled with any other risk factors.
You should call 911 if you suspect you have a deep vein thrombosis, and in particular if you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, any difficulty in breathing, faintness or any other sign or symptom that might concern you.
Prescription medication is often necessary to properly treat deep vein thrombosis. The patient should see a doctor or health care professional for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
In order to improve comfort and to lower the risk of any clots breaking free (embolizing), take the following simple measures:
• When you are seated, keep the affected leg elevated.
• Try to avoid sitting or lying for a prolonged period.
• In order to relieve any pain, apply moist, warm heat to the area.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Blood Clotting18 Jun 2009|