Overview of Blood Clots
Our bodies are designed to form blood clots, so if we are cut, we can stop bleeding. But blood clots can be dangerous if they form in an artery and stay there. If the artery is blocked by the clot, blood and oxygen can't move to the affected area and tissues can die. For example, blood clots can cause (or complicate) the following conditions:
- Stroke: a blood clot prevents oxygen from getting to the brain.
- Heart attack and angina: blood clots block the arteries to the heart.
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): a blood clot in the deep tissues of the body. Most DVTs develop in the veins of the leg. They can damage the valves in your veins, leading to chronic pain and swelling. They can also break loose and travel in your veins (embolism).
- Pulmonary embolism: a blood clot that is lodged in the lung.
- Peripheral artery disease: blood clots restrict blood flow in the arteries in the legs or arms.
Tests and Treatments for Blood Clots
Blood clots are typically diagnosed as part of another condition, such as a stroke, heart attack, or peripheral artery disease. Medications, such as anticoagulants ("blood thinners") are often used to treat blood clots.
Services and Programs
Services and programs at Intermountain Heart Institute for patients with blood clots