Medical IDs for Blood Clots
The confidence to live with blood clots
Healthy blood circulation is crucial for general health and safety. Blood is designed to move easily throughout the body, but it must also be able to clot when an injury occurs. Clots can become a problem, however, when they occur inside the body, instead of responding to an external injury.
Many conditions can cause you to be more susceptible to blood clots. People who are at high risk for blood clots should be very careful about their health, and wear a medical ID. Getting medical ID for blood clots could make all the difference in an emergency—and could even save your life.
How MedicAlert protects those who have a history of blood clots
One thing you shouldn’t worry about is what could happen if there’s an emergency. MedicAlert’s protection plans offer benefits that extend beyond the ID, providing safety and peace of mind for people living with a risk of blood clots.
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Share the information that’s important to your care, such as use of rescue medications or contraindication for tests like MRIs.
Pair a medical ID for blood clots with the protection plan that’s right for you.
What are blood clots?
A blood clot is a clump of blood. Typically, blood clots form when an injury occurs, as a way of stopping the flow of blood. Without the blood’s ability to clot, you would just keep bleeding from a cut.
Blood clots have a gel-like consistency, caused by blood platelets, cells, and proteins grouping together. On the surface of the skin, blood clots are actually are beneficial, but they can cause serious problems when they occur elsewhere in the body. When they don’t dissolve on their own, they can be life-threatening or cause long-term damage to different systems in the body, especially when blood clots are part of a more chronic blood clot condition.
It is easy to tell if blood is clotting for a cut or scrape, which is exactly the situation when you want blood to clot. What about if blood clots form inside a blood vessel? Since blood clots can occur any time in almost any part of the body, the symptoms are not always the same. To further complicate things, some blood clot symptoms could be indication of issues actually arising from other health conditions.
Possible signs of blood clots in the lungs, heart, or brain:
- Chest pain or intense pressure
- Coughing up blood
- Difficulty breathing
- Issues speaking or understanding people
- Numbness or tingling on one side of the body
- Pain that radiates throughout the arm, neck or jaw
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sudden change in vision
Possible signs of blood clots in the arms or legs:
It’s time to see a doctor if you experience pain, swelling, or redness in your arm or leg that doesn’t resolve or gets worse over a couple of days.
Unexplained swelling or discoloration in an area (turning a red or blue color) may be an indication of blood clots.
Sensations like throbbing, soreness or dull or sharp pain in area that might get worse when manipulated or touched, is a possible indication of a blood clot.
Another common indicator that blood clots are the cause of your issues is if the skin is much warmer to the touch than surrounding skin.
Seek emergency care if you experience:
- Chest pain or tightness
- Cough that produces bloody sputum
- Difficult or painful breathing
- Fast heartbeat
- Pain extending to your shoulder, arm, back or jaw
- Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding speech (aphasia)
- Sudden numbness or weakness of your face, arm or leg
- Sudden vision changes
Blood clots are often, but not always painful. Sometimes a person with a blood clot might not experience any sensation, or they may experience only pressure, or throbbing without pain. Those with a rarer blood clot condition may have more wide spread but less pronounced symptoms.
- Movement – The more you move your body, the less likely you are to get blood clots. Try stopping to walk during long car trips. Avoid sitting for long periods of time, and if you must, consider a standing desk or take a standing/walking break every 60 minutes.
- Hydration – Dehydration can contribute to the development of blood clots, so it’s a good idea to not let yourself become dehydrated. When traveling it can be extra helpful to remind self to drink, as many people tend to not drink as much or get as much body movement as usual when traveling for longer periods of time.
- Overall health improvements – Every little effort adds up, whether you lose a few pounds, stop smoking, or spend an extra 20 minutes walking. Every action for beneficial living decreases one’s chance of experiencing issues with blood clots.
Types of blood clots – what are DVT and PE blood clots?
The general medical term for a blood clot is “thrombus”, but there are different types of blood clots that can occur in different locations. Common abbreviations include “DVT” and “PE” blood clots.
DVT refers to deep vein thrombosis. This is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein. Typically, DVT blood clots occur in the leg or pelvis regions. You often hear about people on long airplane rides that develop a DVT. But is DVT an emergency? Definitely. Because they can cause damage to the legs, it is important to address DVT clots right away.
DVT blood clots can also lead to a pulmonary embolism (PE), which occurs when a blood clot breaks off and reaches your lungs. Not only can this damage the lungs, but it can lead to a lack of oxygen traveling to other vital organs, causing serious problems.
Other blood clots include cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST), which is a rare type of clot originating in the sinuses. CVST can cause hemorrhagic stroke, leading to brain cell death and severe complications.
Blood clots can also occur in other parts of the body. These clots can lead to all kinds of issues, including heart attacks, kidney failure, and pregnancy complications.
The main causes of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) are damage to a vessel from surgery or damage or inflammation from injury or infection.
Cramping or throbbing pain
You may feel cramping in the calf or unexplained pain that is severe in your ankle or foot if you are develop a blood clot in your leg. You may notice the pain getting worse when you walk or stand for longer periods of time. The cramping may feel like common muscle cramp but it will persist and worsen over time.
The skin over the impacted area may become pale or red or blue from blood pooling in the area. A notable aspect is how DVT symptoms do not resolve over time, they worsen.
A blood clot often has a warmer area of skin, sometimes only over a larger blood vessel. Or sometimes an entire limb will be warmer than the rest of the body.
Swelling may occur in the affected limb, but rarely is there swelling in multiple limbs.
You may feel tenderness over the affected area.
This could be a sign that the blood clot has moved from your arm or leg into your chest. If you are coughing up bloody sputum, get a bad cough with pain in your chest, call 911.
If you develop any of these symptoms, contact help right away and your conditions can be diagnosed by blood tests, ultrasound, or other imaging tests.
Early Warning Signs of a pulmonary embolism
- Chest pain that worsens when coughing or taking a deep breath
- Coughing up blood
- Lightheadedness or dizziness
- Rapid pulse
- Rapid breathing
- Unexplained shortness of breath
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can be very serious because blood clots can break loose and travel through your bloodstream and become lodged in your lungs.
The warning signs of pulmonary embolism include:
- Chest pain or discomfort that worsens when you cough or take a deep breath
- Coughing up blood
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Rapid breathing
- Rapid pulse
- Sudden shortness of breath
Medical IDs for blood clots are an invaluable tool to have in case of medical emergency when one may not be able to communicate their medical history.
Pain from deep vein thrombosis tends to feel like a throbbing or cramping pain, though early stages may come with no clear indication, or only mild discomfort similar to a muscle ache or cramp. A key distinction is with DVT the sensations will not resolve on their own, but rather continue to worsen until resolve with medical attention.
What to engrave on MedicAlert medical IDs for blood clots:
MedicAlert offers free custom engraving on all our blood clots bracelets and other medical ID products. The engraving on medical IDs for blood clots should include any critical medical information that can protect and save your life if you are in an accident or have a medical emergency, for example:
- History or risk of blood clots
- Medications you’re taking – especially if you’re on blood thinners
- Allergies to drugs
- Other medical conditions
- Implanted devices
- Any additional medical information that needs to be communicated to first responders
Sample engraving. Consult our team if you need help engraving your medical ID for blood clots.
Symptoms of a blood clot
Knowing what to look out for can make a big difference in the outcome after a blood clot. It’s a good idea to learn the symptoms of a blood clot, even if your risk level is not exceptionally high. It could save your life, or the life of someone close to you.
The symptoms of a blood clot can vary based on the clot’s location. Pain is a key symptom that usually occurs in the location of the clot. Someone with a DVT medical emergency might experience leg pain, warmth, tenderness, and rapid swelling that only occurs on one side of the body. A person with a brain blood clot might have a sudden headache and experience difficulty speaking or seeing. Seizures can also occur.
Look out for shortness of breath, nausea, rapid breathing, and increased heart rate. Contact emergency services immediately if you suspect a blood clot. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
Risk factors for blood clots
A blood clot can occur from seemingly out of nowhere. However, some people are at greater risk of developing blood clots than others. For example, there are blood clot disorders that are not readily discernible. Some of the many risk factors include:
- Family history of blood clots
- Genetic disorders
- Heart disease
- Recent major surgery
- A broken bone, especially leg, hip or pelvis
- Being overweight or obese
- Varicose veins
- Sedentary lifestyle or sitting in one position for long periods of time
- Serious injury
It’s important to talk to your doctor about the risk of blood clots if you have one or more risk factors. If you have some of the symptoms but are unsure, it’s still a good idea to see a doctor to rule out rarer blood clot syndrome causes. Doctors often prescribe blood thinners for patients who are at especially high risk, depending on their full health situation.
The National Blood Clot Alliance is dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and clot-provoked stroke.
Treating blood clots
Blood clot conditions are treated using a few different methods, depending on the circumstances. Blood thinners or medications known as thrombolytics may be used. Surgery might also be the best way to treat a blood clot in an emergency.
Getting a medical ID for blood clots from MedicAlert is a good way to ensure that you will get fast treatment during an emergency. Depending on the location of the clot, immediate treatment could preserve your vital organs and your quality of life. A blood clot medical ID is an extra layer of protection for you and your family.
How a medical ID for blood clots combined with MedicAlert Membership provides protection
- We’re your voice: If you can’t speak for yourself due to an accident or other medical emergency, your blood clot bracelet or other style ID will speak for you – informing others about your risk for blood clotting and any medications you’re taking.
- 24/7 emergency protection: In an emergency, the MedicAlert team will relay all of your critical medical information to first responders, no matter where or when your emergency happens.
- Always connected: You should never be alone in an emergency. That’s why MedicAlert will reach out to your designated contacts if you are unable to do so.
- Live with peace of mind and confidence: MedicAlert will be there for you every step of the way. You’ll have the confidence and freedom to live your life with the risk of blood clots, knowing we’ve got you covered.