Blood clotting is a natural process that helps your body stop bleeding after you’ve been cut or injured. Once you start healing, your body is designed to automatically break down and dissolve blood clots, or thickened clumps of blood.
However, not all blood clots play a helpful role. If your body forms clots too easily or doesn’t allow them to dissolve properly (or both), the clots can threaten your life. They can block or restrict blood flow inside your veins and arteries, which can seriously damage your tissues and organs.
If you have blood clot symptoms, it’s important to seek treatment right away. Depending on where they’re located, clots can turn into embolisms. Embolisms are clots that break loose and travel through a vein or artery, blocking blood flow and possibly damaging your brain, heart, lungs or limbs.
We understand that it can be very unsettling to learn that you have a blood clot or clotting disorder. Your Aurora Health Care team will support you through every step of your diagnosis and treatment.
At Aurora, you can expect:
People can develop blood clots for many different reasons. They may:
If you develop a blood clot, you may experience:
If you or someone you love has any of these symptoms, call 911 for immediate medical attention.
If you have blood clot symptoms or risk factors related to a clotting disorder, your Aurora doctor will ask you about your personal and family medical histories. Your doctor will also order some diagnostic tests.
We may recommend blood-related lab tests or refer you to a hematologist (doctor who specializes in blood disorders).
In some cases, we may need detailed images of your veins, abdomen, chest, brain or other location a clot may have formed. Common imaging tests for blood clots include:
Learn more about heart and vascular testing and diagnosis at Aurora.
Your doctor will discuss treatment options with you. Recommendations will vary, depending on how serious the blood clot or clotting disorder has become:
If you have underlying health conditions that may increase your risk of developing blood clots, your condition could improve if you make some lifestyle changes. You might consider quitting smoking, getting more regular exercise and eating a healthy diet.