Blood Clots - Describe Your Experience

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What are blood clots?

Blood is a liquid that flows within blood vessels. It is constantly in motion as the heart pumps blood through arteries to the different organs and cells of the body. The blood is returned back to the heart by the veins. Veins are squeezed when muscles in the body contract and push the blood back to the heart.

Blood clotting is an important mechanism to help the body repair injured blood vessels. Blood consists of:

  • red blood cells containing hemoglobin that carry oxygen to cells and remove carbon dioxide (the waste product of metabolism),

  • white blood cells that fight infection,

  • platelets that are part of the clotting process of the body, and

  • blood plasma, which contains fluid, chemicals and proteins that are important for bodily functions.

Complex mechanisms exist in the bloodstream to form clots where they are needed. If the lining of the blood vessels becomes damaged, platelets are recruited to the injured area to form an initial plug. These activated platelets release chemicals that start the clotting cascade, using a series of clotting factors produced by the body. Ultimately, fibrin is formed, the protein that crosslinks with itself to form a mesh that makes up the final blood clot.

The medical term for a blood clot is a thrombus (plural= thrombi). When a thrombus is formed as part of a normal repair process of the body, there is little consequence. Unfortunately, there are times when a thrombus (blood clot) will form when it is not needed, and this can have potentially significant consequences.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Jack, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 02

I felt pain in my calf for two weeks before it got so severe that I couldn't stand it. I went to the doctor's office as a walk-in on Saturday in mid-December. Doctor on call said to go home but check in to the emergency room (ER) if it got worse. I had vein Doppler test done Monday at noon. Blood clot was confirmed and I started thinners that evening. I saw hematologist later that week who approved of treatment started by primary physician and doctor on call. I was put on bed rest from that Monday until after the holidays. Follow up confirmed treatment was working and he asked me to return in 4 months for continuing next phase of treatment.

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Comment from: lyn, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

I woke up with a leg cramp at 2 am in the morning, it sort of went away but I had a constant tightness in the calf and it was still sore for about 8 days after. I went for a 4 hour drive to my dad's then another half hour to my girlfriends place, stayed the night there, woke up in the morning to find I could not walk, could not put pressure on my foot, could not move my leg or foot without being in extreme pain, instead of it being a 10 it was like a 14, unbelievable. It settled after a couple of hours and I was able to walk on it again but only just with support. I drove back home and found when I could not get out of the car and walk I needed to go to the hospital. My leg was cold, it was swollen, and very painful. Nothing like they say being hot. Anyway I was diagnosed with a 10 cm deep vein thrombosis in my calf. Lucky they say to be still here and since then I've been having five needles daily to stop any other blood clot forming, and this one going into my lungs, now on warfarin for about 9 months. I have support stocking on my leg from tip of toe to up over my thigh. I cannot work on it as yet, it feels like my leg is dying from my toe up, it is such a sickening feeling and not sure what to do about it.

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