Blood clotting, known as coagulation, is vital for the normal functioning of the human body as it prevents excessive bleeding after an injury. There are platelets and several proteins in the blood that help form a clot, which dissolves once the wound heals. However, the same process can become life-threatening if it starts in the lumen of the blood vessels without an injury. Unlike clot formation in response to an injury, these clots do not dissolve on their own and do not have any physiological significance.
Clot formation in the blood vessels can block blood flow to the vital organs leading to severe damage. These clots can also travel from their original site of formation and block other blood vessels, even multiple blood vessels at times. Stroke, pulmonary embolism, and heart attack can occur as a result of this clot formation.
Another such clotting disease is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), characterized by the formation of blood clots in the deep veins. This condition most commonly occurs in the deep veins of the legs. These clots can dislodge from their location and cause pulmonary embolism, stroke, and heart attack.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), 60,000 to 100,000 Americans die of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Also, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), around 17 million people die of cardiovascular diseases (CVD) annually, out of which deaths from heart attacks and strokes are the highest.
Clot formation can have serious consequences, and therefore, you should be aware of the symptoms. Following are the symptoms associated with such disorders.
Pain in the Leg
You can have pain in one or both legs, which can also include cramping and heavy sensations. In many of these instances, you may not recall any injury or other causes of the pain. Also, the pain would not resolve on its own.
Skin Changes in the Leg
There may be red or blue discoloration of the skin. You can experience itchiness as well. Moreover, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can lead to the formation of venous ulcers.
Rise in Temperature
You can also experience a rise in temperature on touching the skin over the involved area. For example, if you feel the skin of the affected leg and compare it with the healthy leg, you will feel a difference in temperature.
In some cases, veins are prominent and swollen. You will be able to see swollen veins through the skin.
Difficulty in breathing and chest pain are the symptoms of pulmonary embolism (PE). If you have a known case of deep vein thrombosis (DVT), be extra vigilant about such symptoms, as this indicates that a clot has reached the blood circulation of your lungs.
Muscle weakness, slurring of speech, visual impairment are the symptoms of a stroke. If you experience any such symptoms, see your doctor immediately.
Chest pain radiating to the left arm and back is a symptom of a heart attack. It requires immediate medical attention.
Always speak to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms. This condition is quite serious so it’s better not to wait to seek treatment.