GMB: Dr Amir Khan discusses blood clot symptoms
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Clotting is normal, but clots can be dangerous when they do not dissolve on their own. Once clots form, they can travel to other parts of your body, causing harm. Some risk factors put certain people at higher risk for developing a blood clot. Though sometimes, a blood clot in a vein can occur with no apparent underlying risk factor.
Stop the Clot, the health site, says there are several symptoms of a blood clot in the leg or arm.
If you have symptoms of DVT, the NHS recommend that you book an urgent GP appointment or dial 111.
DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs, but sometimes in your arm.
Stop the Clot states that the signs and symptoms of a DVT include swelling, usually in one leg, leg pain or tenderness often described as a cramp or, reddish or bluish skin discoloration, or your leg being warm to touch.
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The health site states: “These symptoms of a blood clot may feel similar to a pulled muscle or a “Charley horse,” but may differ in that the leg (or arm) may be swollen, slightly discolored, and warm.”
It adds that you should contact your doctor as soon as you can if you have any of these symptoms, because you may need treatment right away.
Blood clots become more common as people get older, especially when they are over age 65.
Moreover, you can be at higher risk if you have a family history of blood clots.
If DVT is diagnosed, the main treatment is tablets of an anticoagulant medicine, such as warfarin and rivaroxaban. You will probably take the tablets for at least three months.
DVT can be very serious and can lead to a pulmonary embolism.
This is when blood clots in your veins break loose, travel through your bloodstream and get stuck in your lungs.
A pulmonary embolism can be life threatening and needs treatment straight away. People who cannot breathe or notice someone has passed out must call 999 or visit A&E.
It is estimated each year fatal blood clots cause more than 25,000 deaths in the UK. There are some steps you can take to reduce your risk.
For example, the NHS says you should drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, as you’re more likely to get a clot if you’re dehydrated.
The body should naturally dissolve the blood clot after an injury has healed.
However, for some people, a blood clot might emerge without an obvious injury, or it might not dissolve.
Arterial clots in the brain are called strokes. Clots can also form in the heart arteries, causing heart attacks.
Thrombosis UK, a registered charity, has outlined some ways you can reduce your risk if you’re planning a long-distance plane, train or car journey.
It says you should aim to drink plenty of water, but avoid drinking excessive amounts of alcohol because it can cause dehydration.
The NHS recommends that you see your GP before embarking on long-distance travel if you’re at risk of getting a DVT, or if you’ve had a DVT in the past.
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