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- Blood clot facts
- What are blood clots? What does a blood clot look like?
- What causes blood clots?
- What causes blood clots? (Continued)
- What are the risk factors for blood clots?
- What types of conditions are caused by blood clots?
- What types of conditions are caused by blood clots? (Continued)
- What are the symptoms of blood clots?
- How are blood clots diagnosed?
- How are blood clots diagnosed? (Continued)
- What is the treatment for blood clots?
- What are the complications of blood clots?
- How can blood clots be prevented?
What causes blood clots? (Continued)
Blood clots in the heart. In atrial fibrillation, the atrium or upper chamber of the heart does not beat in an organized manner. Instead, it jiggles, and blood tends to become stagnant along the walls of the atrium. Over time, this may cause small blood clots to form. Clots can also form in the ventricle after a heart attack when part of the heart muscle is injured and unable to contract normally. Since the damaged area doesn't contract with the rest of the heart, blood can start to pool or stagnate, leading to clot formation.
Blood leaking out of a blood vessel. Blood clots can form when blood leaks out of a blood vessel. This is very beneficial when a person gets a cut or scrape wound, because the clot helps stop further bleeding at the wound site. The clotting mechanism works well following trauma as well. Broken bones, sprains and strains, and nosebleeds all result in bleeding that is controlled by the body's clotting mechanism.
Blood clots causing other medical problems.Sometimes, normal blood clotting can cause medical problems because of its location. For example, if bleeding occurs in the urine from any of a variety of reasons (such as infection, trauma, or tumor) clots may form and prevent the bladder from emptying, causing urinary retention. Clot formation in the uterus may cause pain when the clots are passed through the cervix and can lead to vaginal bleeding, either as part of menstruation or as abnormal vaginal bleeding (menorrhagia, dysmenorrhea).