Dr. Jeremy Kenter of Ally Medical Emergency Room joined Studio 512 Host Rosie Newberry to talk about blood clots.
Can you start by telling us what exactly is a blood clot?
“Our veins and arteries work hard every day, sending blood to our vital organs and forming semi-solid collections of blood, or clots, to help our bodies when we get a cut or scrape. However, sometimes blood clots are created that aren’t needed, which can be dangerous if not treated properly.”
What puts us most at risk to experience a blood clot?
“Blood clots can affect anyone; however, there are risk factors that can make them more likely to occur.”
The three major risk factors for dangerous blood clots are:
- Hospitalization and surgery
“Other risk factors include birth control containing estrogen, trauma, immobility or sitting for long periods, being overweight, a family history of blood clots, and smoking.”
“New medical research has presented a history of COVID-19 as a new risk factor for blood clots, showing that patients have an elevated risk of blood clots for a year after contracting COVID-19.”
“With over 6.5 million COVID-19 cases in Texas confirmed by the Texas Department of State Health Services, there will likely be an increased number of blood clot patients in the future.”
Are there different kinds of blood clots?
“There are two types of blood clots: deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Both types require medical attention, so it’s essential to recognize the signs and symptoms.”
“Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in the arm or leg. While less serious, DVTs are more common and require medical attention to prevent the clot from breaking off and forming a PE.”
- Look for the following symptoms to recognize a DVT clot:
- Swelling in the spot of the blood clot or on the entire limb
- A red or blue tinge in the arm or leg
- Pain ranging from a dull ache to an intense throbbing
- Swollen, painful veins
- Warm skin around painful areas
- Lower leg cramp (if the clot is in your calf)
“Pulmonary Embolism (PE) is a blood clot in the lung. Most PEs start with a blood clot forming in a deep vein that breaks off and travels to your lung. PEs are more dangerous and urgent than a DVT clot, so it’s essential to be aware of the symptoms.”
- Common symptoms of PE include the following:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath or lying down
- Coughing or coughing up blood
- A faster-than-normal heart rate or irregular heartbeat
What should someone do if they suspect a possible blood clot?
“If you are experiencing any symptoms of a blood clot, you should seek medical attention immediately. Physicians can use a variety of tests to diagnose a blood clot, one example being a CT scan.”
“Treatments can range from less invasive, such as compression stockings and anticoagulant medication (blood thinners), to more invasive, such as stents and catheter surgery. Treatment will vary depending on where the clot is and how likely it is to harm you.”
“Each Ally Medical Emergency Room is prepared to treat major and minor medical emergencies, including blood clots, for children and adults of all ages in a safe, stress-free setting. No appointments are needed, and patients may come in any time–day or night–with little to no wait.”
Ally Medical is open 24/7 and has four locations serving the Austin area, including two in Houston. Follow on Twitter and Instagram @AllyMedical. Learn more at AllyMedical.com.
This segment is paid for by Ally Medical Emergency Room and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.