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FAQs: Must know facts about clots

Get an overview of Deep Vein () and Pulmonary Embolism () and find quick answers

What do and refer to?

When a blood clot develops in one of the veins located deep within the body, it is referred to as deep vein or . If the clot (known as a ) is not dissolved by the body, a piece can break loose and travel through the veins and onto the lungs. When this happens, the condition is called pulmonary embolism or .

What are the symptoms of or ?

symptoms can range from unnoticeable to mild discomfort or even pain. If you experience any level of pain in one particular area, such as the legs or arms, be aware of . The site may also be warm, tender, swollen or discolored.


The symptoms of pulmonary embolism () are very different. Watch for shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing and dizziness, or an irregular heartbeat. In some cases, people with cough up blood.


Is or life threatening?

As can potentially turn into it is very important to seek medical assistance. Early treatment is key to getting the situation under control as soon as possible in order to avoid a possible, life threatening

Who gets clots?

can happen to anyone but certain types of cancer, agents or surgery can put you at risk of developing a blood clot. For more information about why cancer patients are at risk, consider taking a look here.

How does my life situation impact the risk?

One of the best ways to try and avoid is to keep the blood moving through your veins. This is why surgery, bed rest or a general lack of movement can add to someone’s risk for developing . One common suggestion is to avoid standing or sitting in the same position for extended periods of time during the day.

How is treated?

is often treated with medication, which works by prolonging the blood’s natural clotting process. Although the medicine itself does not dissolve the blood clot, this process prevents the clot from growing larger and allows the body to naturally dissolve the clot.

Can my clot come back?

People who have developed in the past are at a higher risk for getting again in the future1. Although the blood clot itself can be fully dissolved, there is always a risk of developing another.


  1. U.S Department of Health and Human Services 2008 “The surgeon general´s call to action to prevent deep vein and pulmonary embolism”.

Where can I find support?

The word support means different things to different people. If you are wondering how to ask for help from your friends and loved ones, consider taking a look here.

Otherwise you can find further information from several online resources below.


MAT 50138 Last approved April 2022

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