Blood clots are clumps of blood cells and other clotting components. When blood clots stop blood flow from a wound, they are helpful. However, when blood clots form inside blood vessels, they are dangerous. Such blood clots can grow, break loose, and cut off blood supply to organs and tissues.
A blood clot can cause a stroke, heart attack, and other serious health problems. Emergency treatment may be necessary if you have a blood clot.
At Dignity Health, our skilled doctors provide comprehensive care for blood clots in Arizona. Use our online InQuicker™ tool to select an estimated arrival time to your nearest Dignity Health emergency room or call 9-1-1.
Symptoms of Blood Clots
Signs and symptoms of blood clots vary depending on what body part they affect.
- Heart blood clots cause heart attack symptoms, including chest pain, sweating, and difficulty breathing.
- Brain blood clots cause stroke symptoms, including vision changes, speech problems, and weakness.
- Abdominal blood clots cause severe belly pain, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
- Lung blood clots cause shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough.
- Leg blood clots can cause mild cramping and tenderness to numbness and a bluish discoloration of the skin.
What Causes Blood Clots
These risk factors increase your likelihood of developing a blood clot:
- Family or personal history of blood clots
- Recent surgery, varicose veins, or heart disease
- Use of hormones, including birth control
- Being sedentary or bedridden
- Age 65 or older
Treating & Preventing Blood Clots
Treatment and prevention of blood clots depends upon whether the clot is in a vein (venous) or artery (a)rterial.
For venous clots, you will take blood thinners (a)nticoagulants to prevent the clot from growing and help blood flow past the clot. You may also need a procedure to place a filter in your vena cava, the large vein that carries blood to your heart. The filter will stop the clot from entering your heart or lungs.
For arterial clots, your doctor may pursue more aggressive treatment, often requiring emergency interventions. Clot-busting drugs (thrombolytics) are one option. Another option is a catheter-based procedure to break up or remove the clot.
To help prevent blood clots, you can:
Dignity Health provides high-quality emergency services, including emergency blood clot treatment, in Arizona.
- Stay active
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Follow your doctor’s recommendations for treating medical conditions