Cardiovascular Group and Northside Hospital are pleased to announce the signing of a Practice Services Agreement, signifying a major leap forward in cardiovascular patient care and clinical leadership in the Atlanta region.
Each year in America, almost a million people are affected by blood clots for various reasons. A blood clot (a thrombus or embolus) forms a mass of coagulated blood in a vessel. It can block the flow of blood and cause serious health problems. They are dangerous and potentially life-threatening, so it is important to know what they are and how to prevent them. By understanding blood clots, you can be proactive about your health and take steps to protect yourself from these dangerous clumps of cells.
Think of a blood clot as a jelly-like clump. Most people’s blood clots effectively when cut or injured, which eventually stops the bleeding. Clotting is a normal bodily response; however, blood clots can sometimes go awry.
At random moments, clots can form in the vein, and instead of dissolving naturally, the clot stays in place. Depending on where a rogue clot appears determines if intervention is needed. The legs, heart, and lungs are dangerous and potentially deadly areas for blood clots to form.
Most everyone has heard of blood clots and understands that they can cause irreversible damage, even death. But not everyone knows the details of the types of blood clots.
There are two types of blood clots: thrombus and embolus clots. You may have heard of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE); these two types of blood clotting conditions fall under the broad category of venous thromboembolism.
Deep vein thrombosis is a clotting condition that happens when a blood clot forms deep in a vein. This type can affect the legs, arms, thigh, or pelvis.
On the other hand, a pulmonary embolism is a blood clot that blocks and stops blood flow to an artery in the lung, which frequently begins in the leg due to DVT.
The CDC shares essential statistics on blood clots in the United States that are beneficial to know.
Most importantly, it is good to know that blood clots can happen to anyone and are often preventable.
Blood clots are a topic to take seriously, and the causes and symptoms are good to be aware of. Becoming familiar with blood clots might just save your life one day.
A long list of factors and conditions contribute to a potential blood clot forming in a vein.
These include but are not limited to obesity, pregnancy, cancer, heart failure, birth control, prolonged sitting and inactivity, smoking, surgery, family history, and even COVID-19.
Heart experts at the Mayo Clinic describe the common and other symptoms of experiencing a blood clot.
Other symptoms to be aware of include the following:
Of course, some of these symptoms can mean various things are going on in the body. It’s best to seek out medical treatment immediately if you don’t know the cause of how you feel and are concerned. It is much better to be safe than sorry.
Diagnostic tests exist for blood clots, but your healthcare provider will make the call as to which test is necessary based on your risk. Blood tests, ultrasounds, and MRIs are examples.
Medications, such as blood thinners, are helpful for prevention. Wearing compression stockings or socks is another great preventative measure. There are also more invasive treatments available.
Blood clots are no joke; they are much more common than most people think and can be deadly, especially in at-risk individuals. It is vital to be aware of the signs and symptoms of blood clots so you can take steps to prevent them from happening or get help if you think you have one. Remember, if you are ever in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of caution and seek medical attention. Contact a cardiologist at Cardiovascular Group, which has multiple locations throughout Gwinnett County, if you are concerned about blood clots.
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Invasive therapies may also be used to treat an abnormal heart rhythm, such as electrical cardioversion which sends electrical impulses through your chest wall and allows normal heart rhythm to restart, or catheter ablation which disconnects the pathway of the abnormal rhythm. If your doctor determines that electrical devices are the best course of action, you may be given a permanent pacemaker, an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD), or biventricular (B-V) pacemakers and defibrillators.