4 Signs Of Blood Clot In The Leg And When It Is A Medical Emergency

September 17, 2019 21:33

Leg swelling, pain, and redness are the symptoms we usually associate with overworked leg muscles. However, such symptoms can signal something much more dangerous - a condition called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Deep vein thrombosis refers to a blood clot that develops in one of the deep veins in your body, most often in the leg. DVT is a very dangerous condition as it can result in a serious, potentially life-threatening complication known as pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism means that a blood clot detaches, gets to the lungs, and obstructs the blood flow there.

On a side note, here's a brief explanation of the terminology:

  • thrombus refers to a blood clot which remains where it formed;
  • embolus refers to a blood clot which detaches and travels elsewhere.


Why does deep vein thrombosis occur?

Several things can put you at a higher risk of DVT. The risk factors include the following:

  • staying seated for long periods of time (such as when traveling on a plane or bus);
  • prolonged bed rest;
  • injury to the leg;
  • being pregnant;
  • being on hormone replacement therapy for menopause;
  • being overweight or obese;
  • having a clotting disorder or vein disease;
  • smoking;


Also, you are at a higher risk of a blood clot if you have already had a blood clot before.

Symptoms of a blood clot in the leg

Blood clots in different parts of the body show different signs and symptoms. A blood clot in one of the deep veins in the leg can produce specific symptoms, and they can include the following:

1. Pain


You can mistake the pain caused by a blood clot for post-exercise pain. The difference is that the blood clot pain usually affects only the leg in which the blood clot formed. The pain is especially intense in the area closer to the site of the blood clot.

2. Swelling


Swelling is also a warning sign. If the swelling is caused by a blood clot, it's sudden and can't be cured with home remedies, such as cold compresses. The longer the blood clot stays undiagnosed, the worse the swelling becomes.

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3. Warmth

The skin around the blood clot is usually warm or even hot to the touch. This symptom often goes hand in hand with sensations, that may include tingling, itching, and throbbing.

4. Redness


Redness is also a warning sign. The skin can become red, and the veins around the affected area can become more visible.

If you have any of the listed symptoms, visit your doctor as soon as possible.

Emergency symptoms of pulmonary embolism resulting from deep vein thrombosis include the following:

  • increased heart rate;
  • coughing (sometimes with blood);
  • chest pain;
  • difficulty breathing;
  • sweating profusely;
  • lightheadedness and dizziness.

If you get the symptoms listed above, you should call the ambulance right away.


If you suspect you have developed deep vein thrombosis, don't hesitate to consult with your doctor. With timely treatment, you can prevent the condition from resulting in dangerous complications, such as pulmonary embolism.

READ ALSO: 9 Tips That Can Help Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis And Manage This Condition At Home

This article is solely for informational purposes. Do not self-diagnose or self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information provided in the article.