What are the signs of a blood clot?

The signs and symptoms of blood clots vary depending on where the clot is located. If left untreated, blood clots can move into the arteries or veins and compromise the function of vital organs such as the heart, brain, lungs and kidneys.

Blood Clots in the Brain

The symptoms of a blood clot in the brain can be debilitating and could lead to a stroke.The signs include possible paralysis, difficulty communicating and comprehending information. Dizziness is also common.

Blood Clots in the Heart or Lungs

When a blood clot forms in the lungs or heart, the symptoms might be similar to that of a heart attack. You might notice pain in the chest area, have difficulty breathing and experience tenderness in the jaw or neck. There could also be back soreness and pain in the arms. A blood clot in the heart can be extremely dangerous because it can lead to a heart attack.

Leg and Arm Blood Clots

If a blood clot has surfaced in your leg or arm, there might be a degree of swelling in the lower region of your affected leg and in any part of your arm. Symptoms associated with leg and arm clots include redness of the skin, excessive warmth and discomfort.

Less Frequent Signs of Blood Clots

Every so often, blood clots might produce an array of other symptoms, including a red rash with spider web type lines on the knees and wrists. When there is a significant drop in platelets (blood cells needed for adequate clotting,) you might experience episodic bleeding from your nose and gums. It's also possible to bleed into your skin. That would be visible as bits of tiny red spots. When a blood clot inhibits blood flow to the brain, there is a possibility of migraine headaches and seizures.

Rare Symptoms

A blood clot can result in unusual and frightening symptoms. They have been known to include a sudden loss of hearing, depression or psychosis and loss of memory. In rare instances, uncontrollable jerking of the body, can occur.

Blood Clot Complications

When blood clots hinder or prevent blood flow to organs, numerous problems can occur. When a blood clot in the brain results in a stroke, permanent brain damage can result. In extreme cases, blood clots cause death.

Heed Blood Clot Warning Signs

Pay close attention to signs that you might have a blood clot and contact your doctor immediately. The precise location of the clot must be determined so appropriate treatment can begin.

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About the Author

Karen Hellesvig-Gaskell is a broadcast journalist who began writing professionally in 1980. Her writing focuses on parenting and health, and has appeared in “Spirituality & Health Magazine" and “Essential Wellness.” Hellesvig-Gaskell has worked with autistic children at the Fraser School in Minneapolis and as a child care assistant for toddlers and preschoolers at the International School of Minnesota, Eden Prairie.