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July 21, 2011 at 1:00 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Why blood clots form and the types of blood clots

By Bri Luginbill More Blogs by This Author

Blood Clots are normally a good thing. Blood begins to make a clot when a blood vessel is injured. Cells and platelets gather around the injury and work together to repair the wound. The medical term for a blood clot is a thrombus.

Blood clots only become dangerous when they form inappropriately or when they break off and travel down the bloodstream to a different location (this is referred to as embolus).  Blood clots only become an issue when they start to travel down the bloodstream.

Types of Blood Clots

Blood clots in the heart

These can form when there is atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm in which the upper chamber of the heart does not beat in a coordinated fashion. Instead of having a single electrical impulse that allows the atrium to control rhythmn, hundreds of electrical impulses are created. This makes the atrium to move around rapidly. This rapid movement causes clots to form. These clots can break off and move to cause a stroke.

Blood clots in the veins

Clots that form in the veins of the arms or legs are called deep vein thrombosis. Risks for these kinds of clots include: prolonged immobility, pregnancy, inherited blood clotting disorders, smoking, and hormone therapy.

Blood clots in arteries

Clots that form in the artery usually happen when the artery is narrowed by plaque. If the plaque ruptures, the clot could detach from the artery and begin to move. Risk factors for arterial clots include: high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels, smoking, diabetes, and a family history of cardiovascular disease.

Blood clots in other areas

Sometimes blood clots can exit the body through urine or stools. This should be reported to a doctor. Sometimes rectal bleeding happens because of hemorrhoids or anal fissures, which are not major problems. However, the clots could be from an inflammatory bowel disease or infection. Bleeding in the urine could mean a bladder infection or be masking a major problem. It’s always safer to check with a doctor before assuming the worst or assuming nothing is wrong.

Like I said above, blood clots are a normal part of the body’s functions. It is only when they break off and being to move that they could potentially be a problem.


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