Blood clots are potentially dangerous. You can avoid severe complications by knowing how to recognize early symptoms.
A blood clot can occur in your arteries or veins. But when a clot develops in a deep leg vein, it’s known as a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT, also referred to as a venous blood clot, is a serious vascular disorder that affects up to 900,000 Americans annually. Of those who have had a clot, three out of 10 will likely experience another one within ten years.
Immediate treatment by a board-certified vascular specialist, such as one at Center for Vein Restoration (CVR), can prevent a blood clot from breaking away from the leg vein and traveling to the lungs, where it may cause a potentially life-threatening pulmonary embolism. But to seek treatment as early as possible, you’ll need to know how to recognize the symptoms of a blood clot.
Four blood clot symptoms you shouldn’t ignore
Normally, when you cut or bruise yourself, blood clots can stop the bleeding. Once you heal, the clot dissolves. However, sometimes a clot can develop due to sluggish blood flow in the leg veins. When blood doesn’t circulate efficiently through the vein, the blood cells cluster into a solid mass.
Generally, those with venous insufficiency, a condition caused by poor blood circulation in the leg veins, experience a higher risk of clots. But anyone inactive for long stretches, such as on a long plane ride or bedridden during a hospital stay, also has an increased chance of blood clots. In addition, smoking, obesity, hormone replacement medication, and birth control pills can all raise the risk of a clot.
Fortunately, DVT is treatable if caught early enough. To get the immediate treatment you need, look out for these four tell-tale symptoms of a blood clot in the leg:
Swelling. When blood pools in the vein, excess fluid can seep into the tissue and cause noticeable swelling.
Pain and tenderness. A clot in the vein could be to blame when leg pain suddenly develops without an injury.
Changes in skin color. Another side effect of blood pooling in the vein is a change in the color of the skin to a reddish hue.
Warm skin. The skin around the clot may heat up and feel warm.
However, not every DVT will exhibit noticeable symptoms. Knowing your risk factors is critical so you can speak to a vascular surgeon about ways to reduce your chances of developing a blood clot.
Get DVT treatment immediately
It’s vital to stop the clot from getting into the lungs. As mentioned earlier, a clot that lodges in the lungs could cause a pulmonary embolism (PE). A PE can display the following symptoms:
Shortness of breath
Rapid pulse rate
If you experience any of the above, go to an ER for treatment right away. A PE that goes without medical intervention could result in death.
Fortunately, there are ways to treat DVT before it causes a PE. The first line of DVT treatment is typically a blood thinner to improve blood flow in the leg veins. Your doctor may also prescribe anticoagulants to break up the clot or place a filter in the vena cava, the large abdominal vein, to catch the clot before it travels to the lungs. In rare instances, a large clot may have to be removed surgically.
Know your risk and get treatment at CVR in New Hampshire
Center for Vein Restoration (CVR) operates two full-service vein clinics in New Hampshire to treat all forms of vein disease, including DVT and varicose veins. Normand Miller, MD, FACS, RPVI, RVT, a board-certified vascular surgeon with years of experience treating vein disorders, leads both offices. Whether you’re experiencing DVT symptoms, would like to check your risk for blood clots, or discuss prevention and treatment options, Dr. Miller can answer all of your questions.
Contact our office today for an evaluation of your veins.
Don't live near our New Hampshire CVR vein clinic locations? No problem! With over 100 vein clinic locations in 22 states and the District of Columbia, there's sure to be a CVR vein center near you.
410 Amherst Street, Suite 200
Nashua, NH 03063
224 Main Street, Suite 1-D
Salem, NH 03079