What Are Blood Clots?

Generally, a blood clot is formed after an injury when the oozing blood combines with fibrin, a fibrous protein. But, if a clot is formed internally without any injury, then it is something serious that has to be taken care of. The fibrin content of the clot is hard to dissolve. However, this quality helps in quick healing of the wounds.

Blood clots that are located near to the heart or in any blood vessel are termed as emboli. They generally restrict the flow to that particular organ. For example, if they reside beside the heart and restrict the flow of blood to the heart, it may result in heart attack. If it is any organ other than the heart, it results in destruction of the organ. The condition where the oxygen and the blood flow are blocked to an organ is termed as ischemia. It should be treated immediately as it may result in irreversible damage to the organ.

Deep venous thrombosis is the condition where the clots are formed in the lower part of the body such as thighs or pelvis. It is highly dangerous and may lead to death. Everyone who is prone to DVT does not show symptoms. Long hours of sitting in a flight journey may lead to clot formation in the lower part of the body. The situation becomes more complicated if the clot breaks and flows freely. This results in blocking of pulmonary arteries and sometimes leads to death due to difficulty in breathing.

Certain genetic defects may increase the risk of clot formation in certain individuals. Such individuals are given medication to prevent the clot formation. Heparin and warfarin are highly effective in treating blood clots.

In most of the cases, physical examination helps in the identification of the clots. If the physical examination cannot reveal the presence of clots, Doppler ultrasound, CAT and MRI scans are used to reveal the presence of clots.

Sedentary life style, smoking, obesity, use of birth control pills and other genetic factors increase the risk of blood clot formation, and hence heart attack and other related problems.

Various factors have to be considered to treat blood clots. Some of the factors to be considered include the location of the clot formation, general health of the person, size of clot and whether the clot is formed within the arteries or veins. Clots in the arteries are treated by intravenous injection of clot dissolving medications. If the clot is formed in the veins similar measures are used but if the condition is critical, surgery is performed to remove the clots.

It is a good idea to prevent the clot formation by practicing certain measures such as wearing lose garments, regular practice of exercises, avoid long hours of standing or sitting and if you are in a flight journey try to walk at least once in an hour. It is essential that you consume less salt and it is also recommended to never use a pillow under the knees.

It is recommended to consult a physician if you experience sudden pain in your chest or feel difficulty breathing. It could be due to blood clot and use all the medications prescribed by your doctor without negligence.

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