The truth about blood clots? Learn what you need to know and how to prevent them.

  1. Anyone can develop a blood clot.
  2. Blood clots are serious but preventable.
  3. In the USA, up to 900,000 people are affected annually by Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).
  4. Half of those with DVT do not experience symptoms.
  5. If symptoms occur, they include swelling, pain, tenderness, or redness.
  6. Risk factors for a blood clot include major trauma, cancer, an age of 55 or older, personal or family history of blood clots, immobility, pregnancy or use of estrogen-based medications, and obesity.
  7. Up to 50% of blood clots occur during or soon after discharge from a hospital stay.

A blood clot that forms in the deep veins of the body is called DVT. Usually, these veins exist in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis. Sometimes DVT may occur in the abdomen or arms.

A blood clot that breaks off and travels to the lungs is called Pulmonary Embolism (PE). PE can be deadly.

If you have any symptoms of DVT, you should contact your health care provider immediately. You should also seek immediate medical attention if you experience symptoms of PE. These include:

  • difficulty breathing
  • a faster than normal or irregular heartbeat
  • chest pain or discomfort (which worsens with a deep breath or coughing)
  • coughing up blood
  • very low blood pressure, lightheadedness, or fainting

Prevention is Key

Know you risk potential and learn to recognize the signs and symptoms.

Discuss the risk of developing a blood clot with your healthcare provider when you are admitted to the hospital or planning to undergo surgery.

When required to sit for extended periods, take breaks and move every one to two hours to improve blood flow to your extremities.

For more truth about blood clots for patients with specific risk factors, the CDC has published educational materials under a campaign called Stop the Clot, Spread the Word®