Let’s Talk About Blood Clots

Anyone can be affected by a blood clot regardless of age, gender, or race. Learn about the signs and symptoms of a blood clot and read stories from blood clot survivors.

Did you know? On average, one American dies from a blood clot every 6 minutes

This Deep Vein Thrombosis Month, learn about blood clots to help protect your health.

March is Deep Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month. A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is when a blood clot forms in one of the large veins, usually in the lower leg, thigh, pelvis, or arm. A blood clot can partially or completely block blood flow in the vein. When a DVT is left untreated, a part of the clot can break off and travel to the lungs, causing a blockage known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). In observance of DVT Awareness Month, learn more about blood clots and read stories from blood clot survivors.

In the United States, an estimated 900,000 people are affected by a blood clot every year, yet they are often underdiagnosed. It’s important to raise awareness about blood clots because they are serious medical conditions that can cause illness, disability, and even death.  Anyone can be affected, but certain risk factors, such as pregnancy, cancer and its treatment, and hospitalization can increase a person’s risk for a blood clot.

Although, a DVT or PE can occur with no symptoms, knowing the symptoms can help alert you to seek medical treatment as early as possible.

Common signs and symptoms of a DVT include:

  • Swelling of the affected area,
  • Pain,
  • Tenderness, and
  • Redness of the skin

If you have these signs or symptoms, alert your doctor as soon as possible.

Common signs and symptoms of a PE include:

  • Difficulty breathing,
  • Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat,
  • Coughing up blood,
  • Very low blood pressure, lightheadedness, or fainting

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of these signs or symptoms.

For DVT Awareness Month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is sharing stories from blood clot survivors. Read their stories to learn about their experience with a blood clot.

Ena’s Story

As a health professional, doctoral student, mother, and caregiver, Ena is living the fulfilling life she always dreamed of.  However, within 12 years, she also faced the daunting experience of travel-related blood clots, not once but twice.

Read Ena’s full story.

Ena
Ena

Ena’s Story

As a health professional, doctoral student, mother, and caregiver, Ena is living the fulfilling life she always dreamed of.  However, within 12 years, she also faced the daunting experience of travel-related blood clots, not once but twice.

Read Ena’s full story.

Rick

Rick’s Story

“I rolled my ankle in January of 2012 playing tennis. I went directly to the emergency room, and they put me in a boot. I wore the boot for 4 weeks, then removed it and began wearing an ankle brace. It was uncomfortable, and swollen, but the swelling seemed to go down each night. After 6 weeks, my ankle and calf were extremely swollen during the day; about 250% the size of my other leg. I showed it to some friends, who have had multiple sprains before, and they immediately told me that it wasn’t right. I called and set an appointment with my doctor for the next day.”

Read Rick’s full story to learn what happened next

Lori’s Story

“In August 2014, I was filled with joy after delivering my second child, Jack.  He was perfect in every way.   As he was napping and I was getting ready to go home, I looked through the endless amount of educational materials provided in the hospital.  What struck me was a simple hand drawing of a leg with a red circle and arrow pointing to the calf, describing a blood clot in the leg, also called deep vein thrombosis.  Before leaving, I had an odd, charley horse type of pain in my leg.  Because of this drawing, I decided to mention it to the nurse. We decided it was likely harmless, so I headed home with my baby.”

Read Lori’s full story to find out what happened after they returned home.

Lori
Lori

Lori’s Story

“In August 2014, I was filled with joy after delivering my second child, Jack.  He was perfect in every way.   As he was napping and I was getting ready to go home, I looked through the endless amount of educational materials provided in the hospital.  What struck me was a simple hand drawing of a leg with a red circle and arrow pointing to the calf, describing a blood clot in the leg, also called deep vein thrombosis.  Before leaving, I had an odd, charley horse type of pain in my leg.  Because of this drawing, I decided to mention it to the nurse. We decided it was likely harmless, so I headed home with my baby.”

Read Lori’s full story to find out what happened after they returned home.

What You Can Do