March is Blood Clot Awareness Month

Mar 30, 2015
Tagged with: March is Blood Clot Awareness Month

Blood clots stand out as one of the most dangerous health risks of all time. Despite the danger, however, many people mistakenly believe that blood clots could never happen to them. To counter this disbelief and to make more people aware of this condition, March has been designated as Blood Clot Awareness Month. The public awareness campaign held during this month could save your life or that of a loved one. Why Blood Clot Awareness Month?

More awareness about the dangers of blood clots is needed simply because many people are not aware that they could be at risk. In fact, this condition can affect anyone regardless of age, race, social status, and gender. More than 900,000 people each year suffer from blood clots, with close to 100,000 of those individuals dying from this preventable illness. Blood clots kill more people each year than AIDS, car accidents, and breast cancer combined; a person dies from a blood clot every six minutes. Given the high rate of mortality, it is vital that the public understand the risks and how blood clots can be prevented and treated. Blood Clot Risk Factors Anyone, even infants and children, can develop a blood clot. Also known as coagulation, a blood clot can occur in any part of the body; however, it most often forms in a person’s arms or legs. A number of factors could put you at a higher risk of developing a clot. Some of the more common risks include:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Injury or trauma to a part of the body
  • Recent surgery or hospitalization
  • Pregnancy
  • Using estrogen-based birth control, including the pill, ring, or patch
  • Hormone replacement therapy
  • Sitting too long
  • Family history or genetics

If one of these factors applies to you, it is important that you talk to your doctor immediately and discuss your treatment options. Medications and therapies are now available to help people overcome or avoid this condition entirely. Symptoms of Blood Clots Overcoming long term damage and death from this condition requires that you know the signs of a clot. The symptoms of a blood clot include:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Warmth
  • Redness

A blood clot that has reached your lungs could result in:

  • Difficulty breathing and talking
  • Chest pain
  • Frequent coughing or coughing up blood
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat

If you have any of these symptoms, you should go to the nearest emergency room or seek help from your doctor immediately. Preventing Blood Clots Along with knowing the risk factors and symptoms, you should also understand how to prevent blood clots from happening to you. You should ideally know if blood clots run in your family or if you have a genetic condition that could put you at a higher risk of developing a clot. Additionally, you should speak with your doctor if you plan to have surgery or know that you will be hospitalized in the near future. Many doctors now require that their patients wear either a Sequential Compression Device, or SCD, or Thrombo Embolic Deterrent hose, or TED, after surgery. Finally, you can lower your risk by living a healthy lifestyle. Avoiding habits like smoking, inactivity, and overeating can help you remain healthier and also eliminate some of the more common risks of blood clots. You can also lower your chances of developing this condition by eating a diet that is low in fat and by exercising each day. Blood clots claim the lives of thousands each year. You can protect your health and help others in your life by learning more about this condition during March Blood Clot Awareness Month. Sources:


Author: Jade Rich

  • bobl07

    Many people with SCI must be very aware of possible blood clots. Thank you for sharing the information on this topic.