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Blood Clots

What You Need
to Know
Blood clots in the lungs (pulmonary embolus or PE)
and legs (deep vein thrombus or DVT) are a serious
condition you may one day face. It is important to
know your risks, the signs and symptoms, and what
to do if you or your family member might be in
What is a DVT?
DVT is a blood clot that develops in the deep veins of
the legs. DVTs block blood supply to the feet and legs
causing pain and swelling to the effected leg.

What is a PE?
A PE is usually a DVT that moves to the lung blocking
blood flow and causing shortness of breath. This can
be a serious and life threatening condition.

Signs&SymptomsofPE What should I do if I think I have a DVT or PE?
Dial 911 if you feel you have a life threatening
emergency. Otherwise contact your health care provider
> Shortness of Breath immediately to schedule an exam. Go to the nearest
emergency room or urgent care clinic if you do not have
a doctor.
> Sudden chest pain
How are blood clots diagnosed?
> Sudden collapse DVTs are diagnosed by ultrasound. PEs are usually
diagnosed by a special type of CAT scan. Your health
> Coughing up Blood care provider may do blood tests to determine other
needed information to properly treat you.
> Sudden sense of fear or doom How can I prevent a DVT or PE?
Stay active. Don't sit for extended periods without
getting up and moving around. Follow your healthcare
provider's instructions regarding exercise, diet, and
Signs&SymptomsofDVT special instructions after surgery or delivering a baby.
Inform your healthcare provider of any family history of
> Sudden swelling of one leg high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease or any
inherited clotting disorder you may have.
> Pain or tenderness
> Skin that is hot to the touch Developed by For more information contact the
J. Caudell, RN, BSN, National Blood Clot alliance at
> Pale, blue or red foot or leg MHA, FNP-s
or by calling
Freely reproducable 1-877-4-NO-CLOT
without request