Blood clot

  • With atrial fibrillation, in which no symptoms occur until a thrombus embolizes.
  • If the clot embolizes to an artery in the brain, the symptoms will be that of stroke.
  • If the artery involved supplies blood to the bowel, symptoms may include abdominal pain and bloody bowel movements.
  • In a leg or arm, the blood clot or deep venous thrombosis can act as a dam and block blood returning to the heart. This may cause inflammation of the vein, or thrombophlebitis. Common symptoms include swelling, redness or discoloration, warmth, and pain.
  • The major complication of a deep venous thrombosis occurs when the clot breaks off and travels to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism. Symptoms include chest pain and shortness of breath. This is a potentially life-threatening condition depending upon the extent of the lung tissue that loses blood supply.

Symptoms of arterial clot depend upon which organ is losing its blood supply.

  • If it is located in a coronary artery, there may be signs of heart attack.
  • Cerebral artery occlusion by clot will manifest in signs of stroke.
  • A patient with an arterial clot to an arm or leg will develop a painful, cool, pulseless extremity.
Tests to diagnose: 

The tests include physical examination, complete blood count and platelet count. 


Anticoagulants, or "blood thinners," are used as routine treatment for excessive blood clotting. Warfarin and heparin are two types of blood thinners. Short-term treatments may include treatment with antithrombin factor and protein C. 

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