What are the Warning Signs of a Blood Clot?

Signs of blood clot

You’ve probably heard of blood clots before or been cautioned that you could be at risk. Especially if you see a vascular specialist, you may know even more about this medical condition.

Your body has a vascular system that helps transfer blood from and to the heart. Arteries, veins, and capillaries are three essential blood vessels of the said system. 

What is a Blood Clot?

A clot occurs when the blood in the blood vessels partially solidifies. Common types include:

  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Thrombosis occurs when a blood clot stays at the same place in the vein and blocks the passage of blood. DVT most commonly affects the deep veins of the legs. 
  • Pulmonary Embolism: Embolisms are those blood clots that block blood in a different blood vessel after breaking free from the original location. A DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism. 

Common Signs of DVT

DVT affects the veins of your arms or legs. Here are the three common signs that patients typically experience in their legs.


A swollen leg is one of the signs you should look out for if you are at risk of clotting. If the swelling comes on suddenly, it may be due to a blood clot. If you elevate your legs and the swelling does not decrease, see a doctor immediately.

Pain in the legs

Developing a cramp in your calf muscles or pain in your legs can indicate DVT. Blood clot pain can be dull or more intense.

Varicose Veins Changes

Those with varicose veins should watch out for any signs of a clot. Specifically, look out for the following:

  • Bulging of a vein, which does not return to normal after elevating the leg
  • Developing redness and tenderness in the skin surrounding the varicose vein 
  • A feeling of hardening of the vein

You may notice similar symptoms in your arm as well. Additionally, there may be slight discoloration in the skin which can signal a clot.

Common Signs of Pulmonary Embolism

If there is a clot in your lungs, you should seek help immediately. Here are common signs:

Shortness of breath

Experiencing breathing difficulties can be a sign of a blood clot. Other problems may also accompany shortness of breath, such as dizziness and fluttering sensations in the chest area. 

Chest pain 

Chest pain can occur in health conditions related to the heart. However, pain in your chest can indicate a blood clot in the lungs. The chest pain may radiate to the back area as well. You may also experience a heavy feeling in your chest with pain. 


If you develop an unexplained cough, it may be due to pulmonary embolism. Moreover, coughing blood is another sign that you should not ignore. 

Seek immediate care from a primary doctor or visit the emergency department if you are experiencing the signs mentioned above of a blood clot.

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