Blood clots are serious medical conditions that can be prevented with the right treatment and medications.
This condition is something to be aware of, especially if they occur somewhere potentially deadly, like in the lungs. Knowing the warning signs can help prevent it from becoming major.
Are blood clots serious?
Blood clots occur when a clump of blood forms within a blood vessel, such as an artery. Once it gets stuck in these areas, it can lead to serious medical problems like deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism.
Deep vein thrombosis often occurs in the veins of the legs, pelvis, or arms. If left without treatment, they can get bigger, break loose, and travel through the bloodstream leading to the heart and lungs. Once it reaches the vital organs, it causes a pulmonary embolism.
Approximately 30,000 Australians develop blood clots every year. This condition may affect the person for the rest of their lives by having long-term breathing difficulties and a higher chance of getting another clot.
Other impacts of blood clotting are swell that does not go away or sores and wounds that will not heal.
Blood clots can affect anyone, but there are certain factors that put other people at high risk. These include surgery, hospitalisations, cancer (and some cancer treatments), and having a family history of the same condition.
Keep an eye out for any developing symptoms if you present with these risks.
5 Ways to Prevent Blood Clots
There are lifestyle changes that help lower the risk of developing clots.
Staying hydrated is essential for several health reasons, one of which is to prevent clotting.
Sitting or staying in one position for long periods can cause dehydration, which can lead to blood clots.
A sedentary lifestyle can cause your blood to pool, leading to clots.
To avoid blood clots, engage in physical activities for 30 minutes to 1 hour every day to get the blood moving. A simple 30-minute walk in the neighbourhood is a great way to keep the circulation moving.
Excessive weight gain and the additional vein pressure that comes with the extra pounds in the body can result in blood clots.
Losing excess weight and maintaining a healthy BMI can alleviate some of the pressure on the veins and keep the clot risk at bay.
Keep feet raised when sleeping
Getting a quality seven to eight hours of sleep every night is necessary for good health. However, sleeping is also the time when you are in a sedentary mode and may suffer some clotting issues.
To prevent clots from happening, try to elevate and keep your legs and feet raised while sleeping to keep the circulation going.
There are two main medications that help prevent clots – heparin and enoxaparin (Lovenox). These medicines are also known as blood thinners, usually given as belly shots.
Watch for Signs
Watch for signs of blood clots such as throbbing or cramping pain, swelling in the leg or arm, sudden breathlessness, and sharp chest pain.
Seek professional help if you are experiencing these symptoms or suspect something is wrong.
Upon reaching the hospital, the doctor will go back and look at all the possible risks for you to experience clotting. After proper diagnosis, they will order procedures that best address your condition.
The best thing to consider when preventing blood clots is to learn if you are at risk of developing one. From there, you can start with these actions to improve your condition and avoid medical complications.
Consider getting a first aid course to learn what to do in a blood clotting emergency.