The ability of your blood to clot is essential. Clotting is your body’s defense mechanism against bleeding too much. Bleeding from scrapes for cuts on the skin stops when the blood clots. But, when a blood clot forms inside a vein or artery, it can cause serious health problems.
If you have a blood clot in Stockton, CA or a surrounding area, see the emergency services team at Dignity Health for the expertise and care you need.
Causes of Blood Clots
Blood clots can form due to an underlying medical condition, from medication side effects, or from lack of physical activity. Some medical conditions that increase the risk of blood clots are:
- Certain cancers
- Genetic conditions that affect blood clotting
- Atrial fibrillation (AFib)
Blood Clot Symptoms
Blood clots generally come in two types. A clot that remains in place and blocks blood flow is a “thrombus.” A blood clot that breaks loose and travels to another location in the body is an “embolus.”
A thrombus can cause different types of symptoms depending on whether it’s located in an artery or a vein. For example, when a thrombus blocks blood flow in an artery of the brain, brain tissue doesn’t get enough oxygen and signs of stroke occur. If a thrombus blocks blood flow in an artery of the foot, you may notice loss of sensation or pale, cool skin. A thrombus inside a vein, particularly a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the leg, can cause inflammation and pain.
An embolus can cause severe signs and symptoms if it enters through your bloodstream and gets stuck in a blood vessel in the brain or lungs. An embolus that lodges in the carotid arteries that supply oxygen to the brain can cause immediate stroke symptoms. When an embolus blocks blood flow within a lung, it is called a pulmonary embolism (PE).
The signs and symptoms of PE are:
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Pain when breathing
- Coughing up blood
Blood Clot Treatment & Prevention at St. Joseph's Heart & Vascular Institute
Blood clot treatments and prevention strategies include dissolving any clots and reducing your risk of future ones. Certain lifestyle habits, such as smoking, can increase your risk of developing a clot. You can reduce your risk of developing a blood clot by getting plenty of physical activity and engaging in a heart-healthy lifestyle. Talk to one of our trusted doctors about how they can help care for your complete well-being and avoid blood clots.
Dignity Health treats blood clots in the Stockton area as part of our emergency services.