A blood clot can develop within the deep seated veins in the inferior legs. These clots can remain in the affected leg or travel to another region of the body particularly in the lung which is known as pulmonary embolism. In case the blood will not travel away from the site where it formed such as the arm or leg, it will trigger the manifestation of certain signs and symptoms that you should be familiar with.
Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
If there is a blood clot in a vein of the lower leg, it will cause pain and swelling at the area distal to the clot. It simply means farther from the heart. The arteries run down in order to supply blood to the limb while the veins run up the leg and return it to the heart. If there is a blood clot in the knee, it can lead to pain and swelling below the knee. In some cases, the individual can also experience discoloration as well as warmth on the site of the blood clot.
Signs during a physical examination
When the doctor performs a physical exam, the signs are similar to what is observed by the individual such as swollen leg, redness, warm and tenderness. The doctor will also measure and compare the circumference of each leg or feel the tracts of the veins to check for any tenderness. Take note that Homan’s sign is pain upon flexing the foot towards the knee but is not indicative of deep vein thrombosis.
It is important to watch out for the indications of a blood clot so that proper measures can be provided right away. You can enroll for first aid training today so that you can learn the appropriate measures to carry out if a blood clot is suspected.
It is important to note that the laboratory findings are not specific to blood clots but can raise the level of suspicion. The doctor will request for a complete blood count which includes red blood cells, white blood cells and the platelets. In most cases, the doctor will also check the coagulation studies such as the PTT and the PT/INR as well as the D-dimers.
The radiologic indications of a blood clot are considered as the most valid method of diagnosing most cases of blood clots, especially deep vein thrombosis. An ultrasound is the common used method that is easy and painless. Another option that is highly sensitive in picking up blood clots below the knee is venography. This involves the injection of dye into the vein and an X-ray is taken. Lastly, an MRI can be performed to check for the presence of blood clots.
If pulmonary embolism occurs, it can be a dangerous condition that would require proper assessment by a doctor.