Blood Clots & Clotting Disorders

Sometimes the problem with the blood system is that it is too thick, and clots are formed in your veins or arteries that can lead to strokes, irregular bleeding and thrombophlebitis. Rarely, a fatal burst of clots can stop your lungs from putting oxygen in your blood, leading to a sudden collapse and death. 

Description

A variety of medical problems have been attributed to abnormal clotting, including deep vein thrombosis, venous clots at any location and pulmonary embolism. Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a clot forms in the deep veins of your body. Often cramps in the lower leg is a warning sign of this problem. Sometimes the problem occurs without symptoms. When blood cannot circulate normally throughout the vascular system, the flow becomes irregular and small clots form that cause damage throughout your vascular system. When these small clots get to a person’s lungs they can become deadly very quickly, leading to lack of oxygen and sudden death. 

Causes

Lack of activity, change in activity and obesity are all factors that contribute to venous clots. Symptoms include leg swelling and leg pain. Clotting changes in your blood stream and obstruction of blood flow are the main causes of the symptoms, but the problem can arise from many conditions, illness and inactivity being the most important ones.

Diagnosis & Treatment

The hematologists at Physicians East can assess your clotting system with specific tests to see whether certain clotting factors are abnormally high in your system. Ultrasound as well as special scans can be performed to look for clots in your vascular system or pulmonary tree. Blood gases can be used to see how well your blood is receiving oxygen.

Usual medicines to thin your blood are the first line of treatment. At the start of treatment, injectable quick-acting medication is used to start treatment of the problem. Eventually, the patient is transitioned to an oral medication. Many varieties of medication are now available to treat clotting disorders. Some require blood monitoring and some do not. Speak with your provider so that you can find the kind of medication that fits in best with your needs.