Your body creates blood clots out of cells, platelets, and proteins to reduce bleeding when you’re injured. After the injury heals, your body breaks down the clots and eliminates them, so they don’t have an adverse effect on your health. Unfortunately, though, your body might form clots without a medical reason and fail to expel them. If that happens, they can travel to your lungs or another part of your body, cutting off the blood supply. This can cause a stroke or another potentially fatal medical emergency. Thus, go over the symptoms of a blood clot so you’ll know when to call 911 or visit the emergency room.

Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis

If a blood clot develops in a deep vein in your leg or arm, you’ll be diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). This is very dangerous for a couple of reasons. First, the blood clot can travel to your heart or lungs, leading to severe complications. Second, it can cause long-lasting complications, such as pain and scaling. Thus, you want to go to the emergency room at the first sign of a DVT.

Go to the ER or call 911 if you experience any of the following in an arm or leg:

  • Pain or tenderness
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Warmth

Symptoms of a Pulmonary Embolism

If the blood clot breaks free and travels to your lung, you will develop a pulmonary embolism (PE). Then the blood clot will prevent blood from flowing to your lungs, which can be fatal if left untreated.

With that in mind, go to the emergency room or call 911 if you:

  • Have trouble breathing
  • Experience a rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Have chest pain that gets worse when coughing or taking deep breaths
  • Are you coughing up blood
  • Feel lightheaded or faint
  • Have low blood pressure

How Are Blood Clots Treated?

The ER staff will evaluate you to determine the best course of treatment. You might need to take blood thinners to prevent the clot from increasing in size. This can also prevent other clots from forming while you’re being treated.

Additionally, your doctor might administer thrombolytic medications to break down the clot so your body can expel it. Other options include a surgical thrombectomy and catheter-directed treatments.

blood clot treatment

Are You at Risk of Blood Clots?

While anyone can develop a blood clot, some people are at a higher risk than others. Your risk level increases if you:

  • Recently had surgery
  • Are on bed rest
  • Are overweight
  • Were recently injured
  • Are pregnant
  • Had a child
  • Have rheumatoid arthritis or another inflammatory condition
  • You are on hormone replacement therapy
  • Have family members who have had blood clots
  • Are a smoker
  • Have varicose veins

3 Things That Can Reduce Your Risk for Blood Clots

1. Promote blood flow when sitting

Move your legs and engage your calf muscles while sitting. This is especially important when traveling. You have to sit for long periods when driving or flying to a destination, so moving your legs throughout your journey is vital.

2. Discuss your risk factors with your medical provider

Your doctor might recommend wearing compression stockings and other methods to prevent blood clots.

3. Address lifestyle issues

Adjust lifestyle choices that increase the risk of blood clots. For instance, develop a healthy eating and exercise routine if overweight. Also, stop smoking if you’re a smoker to lower your risk.

Get Immediate Treatment for Blood Clots

PRESNow Urgent & Emergency Care

If the condition feels like an emergency, call 911. If you’re experiencing blood clot symptoms, seek medical attention and visit PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care.

Unlike most ERs or urgent care centers in the area, PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care in Albuquerque, patients are only billed for the level of services they need. The ER and urgent care are open 24 hours a day, every day. No appointment is required for in-person visits.

PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care has four convenient locations:

  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Paseo/San Pedro is located at 6400 Paseo Del Norte Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87113, and may be reached at 505-596-2100.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Coors/Western Trail is located at 4515 Coors Blvd. NW Albuquerque, NM 87120, and may be reached at 505-596-2200.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Isleta/Rio Bravo is located at 3436 Isleta Blvd SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105, and may be reached at 505-596-2300.
  • PRESNow 24/7 Urgent and Emergency Care Menaul/Pennsylvania is located at 7400 Menaul Blvd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110, and may be reached at 505-596-2400.