Thrombosis occurs when thrombus or blood clots block blood vessels. There are two types of the thrombosis:
- venous thrombosis, when a blood clot clogs a vein;
- arterial thrombosis when a blood clot clogs an artery.
The risks of the thrombosis depend on its location. If the thrombosis occurs in arteries which supply blood to a heart, it may cause a heart attack, but if the arterial thrombosis occurs in the blood vessels of a brain, it may lead to a stroke.
If a thrombus breaks away from a wall of the blood vessel, it may travel to lungs and partially or completely block blood flow to the lungs. It is called pulmonary embolism.
The pulmonary embolism is a serious and life-threatening disease. About a quarter, i.e., 25% of people with the pulmonary embolism die suddenly. (1)
Symptoms of the pulmonary embolism are:
- unexplained shortness of breath;
- rapid breathing;
- pain in a chest, under a costal arch (pain may increase with a deep breath);
- rapid cardiac activity;
- dizziness or fainting.
Symptoms of the thrombosis of limbs (arms, legs) are:
- oedema, pain, numbness in a leg or arm;
- skin warm to the touch
- skin redness or red streaks on skin.
The thrombosis is life-threatening, therefore its early diagnosis and treatment are essential. Usually, a doctor will prescribe drugs which thin blood to prevent the thrombus formation or drugs which dissolve the blood clots.
Tips to prevent the thrombosis:
- Maintain a healthy weight, since obesity is one of the risk factors for the thrombosis occurence!
- Lead an active lifestyle, but if you must sit in one place for a long time, do not forget to get up every hour to move a little!
- Quit smoking!
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. [Online] 9 June 2022 [Quotation: 20 June 2022] https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/data.html.