What Are the Warning Signs of a Blood Clot?

A blood clot can be a serious medical problem. It can even lead to a heart attack, stroke or death. In fact, 274 people die every day from blood clots, according to the National Blood Clot Alliance.

So what does a blood clot look or feel like? And how do you know if you have one?

A blood clot is a gel-like collection of blood cells in the veins or arteries that blocks blood flow. Without proper blood flow, important parts of your body like the heart, brain and legs may not get the oxygen they need. Blood clots can be as small as a grain of rice or as long as a Polish kielbasa, says Dr. Lawrence “Rusty” Hofmann, a professor of interventional radiology at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California.

Types of Blood Clots

Millions of years ago, blood clots helped stop humans from bleeding to death after they were bitten by saber-tooth tigers, Hofmann explains. Nowadays, blood clots can still be helpful if we get injured, but they also can form for other reasons, which can be harmful.

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