Blood Clots - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of blood clots?

Venous clots do not allow blood to return to the heart and symptoms occur because of this damming effect. Most often occurring in the legs or the arms, symptoms include:

  • swelling,

  • warmth,

  • redness, and

  • pain.

Arterial clots do not allow blood get to the affected area. Body tissue that is deprived of blood and oxygen begins to die and becomes ischemic (isch=to restrain + emia = blood)

  • Pain is the initial symptom of the ischemia, or oxygen deprivation due to loss of blood supply.

  • Other symptoms depend upon the location of the clot, and often the effect will be a loss of function. Heart attack and stroke are self-explanatory.

  • In an arm or leg, in addition to pain, the limb may appear white, and weakness, loss of sensation, or paralysis may occur.

  • If the blood supply is lost to an area of the bowel, in addition to intense pain, there may be bloody diarrhea.

Return to Blood Clots

See what others are saying

Comment from: Patricia, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 30

I didn't have any warning signs that a clot was developing. I was out salsa dancing the night before I developed any symptoms! Pain in my calf woke me the following morning and I found that the calf was swollen (3 cm bigger than the other) so I went to the emergency room where I was diagnosed pretty much straight away. I was in great health before this; not overweight, never smoked, active, and now I feel far more vulnerable.

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Comment from: msjdy3, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 01

Looking back I realize my first symptom of blood clot was getting dizzy every time I stood up. This went on for a while, and I thought it was due to the heat of summer. Next, for no apparent reason both of my arms would go dead, heavy and hard to move like they had gone to sleep. Then I lost control of my little finger and the one next to it on my left hand. They would be spread out and I could not move them together. This I took notice, but did nothing. Then one night the top of my foot felt like it was tight and kind of swollen. I felt some pain but had not hurt my foot so I did not know why it was hurting or felt tight. Next I was sleeping and tried to wake up to tell my son something before he left for work, but I thought I could not wake up. Then actually I was having a small stroke and could not move or speak. My son asked me if I was alright and I thought I was answering him, but I was not. He called the ambulance. After they told me I had a blood clot and that it had moved causing the stroke, I realized there had been a string of events that led up to it. Only in hindsight did I put them together.

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