Warning Signs Of A Dangerous Blood Clot

When you get a cut on your skin or a lesion inside your body, platelet blood cells and proteins in your plasma work together to form a clot and stop the bleeding. This healthy, natural process keeps you safe from excessive blood loss.

However, sometimes blood clots can cause more harm than good. For example, if a clot forms inside a blood vessel, it can block blood flow and cause life-threatening health complications such as a heart attack or stroke.

The symptoms of a dangerous blood clot depend on where the clot is located.

Blood Clot Near The Heart

Blood clots near your heart can potentially cause a heart attack.

Symptoms of a blood clot near the heart include:

  • Chest pain or heaviness
  • Upper body discomfort (such as arm or shoulder pain)
  • Shortness of breath
  • Nausea
  • Light-headedness
  • Sweating

Blood Clot in the Brain

When a blood clot forms in one of the veins or arteries supplying blood to your brain and blocks the flow of blood, it’s called a stroke. The clot may have formed after a head injury, or it may have formed in another part of the body and traveled through the bloodstream.

Signs of a blood clot in the brain include:

  • Sudden or severe headache
  • Facial weakness, or weakness of the arms, legs, or body
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Vision problems
  • Dizziness

Since a stroke is a medical emergency, it’s important to know the signs in case you or someone close to you needs help. Memorize the FAST acronym:

  • Face: One side of the face droops. Ask the person to smile—it will be obvious.
  • Arms: Can the person raise their arms usually, or are they too weak?
  • Speech: Is the person’s speech slurred, stuttered, or confused?
  • Time: Time is of the essence if the person shows any of these symptoms. Call 911 immediately.

Blood Clot in the Arms or Legs

A blood clot deep in the veins of your arms or legs is called a deep vein thrombosis. These clots can travel through the bloodstream and cause problems in other areas of the body.

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis include:

  • Swelling
  • Discoloration
  • Soreness, dull aches, cramping, or severe pain
  • Tenderness
  • Warm skin

Blood Clot in the Lungs

If a blood clot breaks off from your deep veins and travels to your lungs, it’s called a pulmonary embolism. This can be very serious because it can block blood flow and respiration.

Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:

  • Sharp chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Coughing up blood
  • Sweating
  • Fever

Blood Clot in the Abdomen

Blood clots can also form in the veins and blood vessels that drain blood from your intestines.

Symptoms of an abdominal blood clot include:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stool
  • Bloated feeling

No matter where a blood clot forms in your body, it’s important to seek medical help immediately if you have any of the above symptoms. Blood clots can be life-threatening, and the sooner you get treatment, the better your chances of making a full recovery.