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Excessive Clotting Disorders

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Signs and Symptoms

The first indication that someone may have a clotting disorder may be the presence of a blood clot somewhere in the body that is blocking the flow of blood through a blood vessel (thrombotic episode). The signs and symptoms that may develop depend on the location of the clot. For example, when a blood clot is present in the deep vein of a leg (DVT), one of the most common complications, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Leg pain or tenderness, usually in one leg
  • Leg swelling, edema
  • Discoloration of the leg

If a clot is blocking a blood vessel in a lung (pulmonary embolism), signs and symptoms may include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain or discomfort that may worsen with a deep breath or coughing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Anxiety
  • Lightheadedness or feeling faint

If the clot occurs elsewhere in the body, it may cause symptoms associated with, for example, a heart attack or stroke.

A healthcare practitioner will investigate the underlying cause of the thrombotic episode and will try to determine the person's risk of recurrent blood clots. The healthcare practitioner may do an extensive workup to find a cause if someone has repeated thrombotic episodes and/or if the affected person is young (less than 50 years old) and/or if the clot occurs in an unusual site in the body.

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