New treatment options can dramatically improve successful outcomes, but only when the clot is detected and treated immediately. Knowing more about this potentially serious and life-threatening condition is the best way to protect your health and those you love. Blood clots can be caused by any number of things including surgery, some medications (especially birth control), cancer, heart disease, broken bones and other injuries. Age, obesity, genetics, varicose veins, a previous history of blood clots, inactivity, and extended travel can all increase risk.
Blood clots can form in, or travel to, the arteries or veins in the brain, heart, lungs and limbs and cause life-threatening complications, including pulmonary embolism, heart attack, and stroke. In all cases, immediate treatment is necessary to prevent permanent disability or death. Innovative new approaches include minimally invasive procedures that deliver clot-dissolving therapy directly to the blood clot, and removing clots with state-of-the-art retrieval devices. Learn more about Neurointerventional Services.
PAD (Peripheral artery disease) causes the arteries in the legs to narrow or become clogged with fatty deposits or plaque, thus reducing blood flow to the legs and feet. But the tip of the plaque can break off, and red blood cells can clump together to form a blood clot on top of the plaque. Some people with PAD may experience pain in their legs – particularly when walking, but others show no symptoms at all. But since PAD can significantly increase the risk for heart attack or stroke, adults – particularly those over 50 – should be aware of their health history and potential for PAD. Our free online risk assessment can help. Just answer a series of questions about your health history and lifestyle, and in less than 10 minutes you'll receive a report detailing your PAD risk profiler that you can review with your doctor.
To learn more about blood clots, visit the American Society of Hematology website
This article first appeared in the November 2014 edition of the HealthPerks newsletter.