Emergency Care for Urgent Situations: Blood Clots
Blood clotting is not necessarily a bad thing; in fact it is one of the body’s vital processes as it is one that helps prevent one from losing excess blood due to injury to a blood vessel. This is why when you injure yourself and suffer a cut or bruise, you may notice that bleeding stops after sometime and what appears to be a clump of blood has formed at the site of the wound. This is usually as a result of clotting of blood so as to prevent excessive blood loss. Having said that, if a blood clot, however, forms inside a blood vessel that hasn’t sustained damage, then it may be a problem. This is because, these types of blood clots do not always dissolve on their own. Even then, if such a blood clot is not moving and is immobile, then in most cases it is not something to worry about. The problem starts when the blood clot begins to move through the blood vessel. This is dangerous as if the blood clot reaches the lungs or heart, then it could prevent blood flow to these very crucial organs; something that is a medical emergency as it is life-threatening. The problem is, diagnosing a blood clot through symptoms can be very difficult. To help you with that, this article will look to highlight how you can tell if you have a blood clot so that you can seek emergency care as soon as you can.
Let us first start with what is usually the most common forms of blood clots and that is a blood clot in the leg. Most cases of blood clots in the leg are as a result of deep vein thrombosis, which is a blood clot in one of the major veins deep inside your body. If the blood clot breaks free, it could travel to your lungs leading to a potentially life-threatening condition known as pulmonary embolism hence why it is important to catch such a blood clot early. Some of the symptoms that could indicate a blood clot to the leg include swelling, redness, tenderness and pain in your leg. These symptoms are sometimes confused with symptoms due to muscle injury to the leg. However, if the swelling in your leg doesn’t go down even after elevating or icing it, then it may be a blood clot rather than a muscle injury. If you have a blood clot in your leg, it may feel warm the more the clot worsens. If you are experiencing such symptoms, it could be a blood clot and you should seek medical attention.
A blood clot could also form in the chest where it could block blood flow in the heart, causing a heart attack, or it could reach the lungs leading to a pulmonary embolism; with both of these situations being life-threatening. Some of the red flags to look out for as far as pulmonary embolisms are concerned include if you are experiencing sharp chest pain that appears to get worse with each breath you take as well as a shortness of breath and a rapid heart rate, then you should seek immediate emergency care. As far as a heart attack is concerned, if you are experiencing chest pain that may also radiate towards the left part of your jaw or your left arm and shoulder, or you are experiencing cold chills and sweating then it could be a sign of a heart attack and you should also seek immediate emergency care. In such situations, you should not drive yourself to the emergency room but should call 911 as soon as possible.
A blood clot could also travel to your brain, from your heart or neck, and could lead to a stroke. It is therefore important to note the signs of a stroke and seek emergency care as soon as possible for signs of a stroke. Symptoms include issues with your vision and speech, drooping on one side of your face, confusion, headache or a weakness or numbness on one side of your body. Unless you have a headache, you are unlikely to feel pain with a stroke which is why it is important to keep your eyes peeled out for its symptoms. A blood clot could also form in the abdomen since the abdomen actually has a number of major veins passing there, including those that draw blood from the intestines. Blood clots here are known as mesenteric venous thrombosis and could cause major internal damage as it stops blood from circulating in the intestines. It is therefore important to catch blood clots here early to avoid such damage. If you are taking birth control pills, estrogen medications or have appendicitis, pancreatitis, cancer or diverticulitis, then you are at a higher risk of suffering a clot in the abdomen. Symptoms include bloating, vomiting as well as abdominal pain that may be sudden and severe, and may be some of the worst pain you have ever experienced. If you are experiencing such symptoms, you should seek emergency care as soon as possible.
Even if you think there is a small chance, you should seek medical attention as soon as you suspect a blood clot so that it can be treated as soon as possible and you can avoid unwanted consequences. As such, we hope that this article will help you know if you have a blood clot quicker so that you can get the attention you require.