Written by LAURA CASELEY
When you get a cut, your body heals itself by forming a blood clot over the wound to seal it. This keeps it safe from infections and bacteria, as well as keeping the rest of your blood inside. The ability of blood to clot, which is the responsibility of tiny blood cells called platelets, is lifesaving.
But when a blood clot forms in the wrong place (for example, inside your body), the effects can be dangerous and even deadly, especially because it’s impossible to see one forming. So, if you can’t see it, how can you know if you’re in danger?
When a blood clot forms inside a blood vessel, it can block blood from accessing various parts of your body, causing pain, tissue damage, and even death.
A blood clot in one of your body’s large veins, typically in the arms and legs, is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), while a blood clot in the lungs is called a pulmonary embolism (PE).
A PE can cause death if not treated immediately. A DVT is less of an immediate emergency, but if left untreated, the clot can travel to the lungs and become a deadly PE.
The good news, though, is that you can know the risk factors and the symptoms of blood clots. Being aware of these signs can alert you if something is wrong, and can help you make adjustments to stay healthy.
Read on to learn the risk factors and the symptoms of blood clots. If you recognize any of these in yourself of someone you know, tell a doctor immediately.