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Here are steps you can take to reduce the

recurrence of blood clots:


• Tell your HCP and other family members if
there is a history of blood clots
• If you have to be confined to a bed, ask
your HCP about options to prevent blood
clots
• Get up and move if you’ve been sitting or 
traveling for a long time. Stand up, walk,

Blood Clot
and stretch your legs every two to three
hours
• Maintain a healthy weight
• Don’t smoke or take steps to quit smoking
• Your HCP may prescribe compression Treatment and
Recovery
stockings to alleviate persistent pain and
swelling.

What are the long-term complications of blood


clots? A Patient’s Guide
Most patients do not develop long-term com-
plications and recover completely. However,
some can develop the following complications:
• Post-thrombotic syndrome: persistent
swelling, pain, and discoloration of the skin
in the affected arm or leg
• 2-4% of PE patients will have chronic lung
damage (thromboembolic pulmonary hy-
pertension)
• Further episodes of clotting
• Anxiety and/or depression
Contact your HCP if these symptoms do not
improve.

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www.stoptheclot.org
You have been diagnosed Talk to your HCP about which medication is right
for you. The treatment goals are:
• Some HCPs suggest waiting a few
weeks to travel after a blood clot.
with a blood clot in a vein. • Stop an existing clot from growing When you do resume traveling, move
around at least 5 minutes every two
• Prevent the formation of a new clot that hours and stay well hydrated.
could break off, travel to the lungs and be-
Here is information your healthcare come a PE As you recover from this clot, how can you
prevent another blood clot from forming?
provider (HCP) wants you to know: • Avoid or minimize long-term complications
It is very important to take your blood clot med- First, know your risk for blood clots. Risk
What is a blood clot? icine as prescribed to avoid serious complica- factors include:
A blood clot that forms in the deep veins, tions, like another clot. • A previous blood clot and/or a family history
usually in a person’s leg or arm, is called deep Your treatment will continue until your HCP of blood clots
vein thrombosis (DVT). It can block the flow of determines you are no longer at risk for a recur- • Hospitalization for illness or surgery, espe-
rence. This decision depends on a number of cially knee or hip replacement
blood causing swelling, pain and red or purplish
factors such as: • Severe trauma, like a car accident, broken
discoloration. Sometimes these clots break off bone or severe muscle injury
and travel to the lungs. This is a more serious • The location of the clot
• Cancer and cancer treatments
medical condition called a pulmonary embolism • The reason why a blood clot formed
• Birth control or hormone therapy with estrogen
(the risk factors that contributed to your clot)
(PE) that can be life-threatening and requires • Pregnancy, which includes the twelve
immediate medical attention. • How well you have tolerated the blood thinner weeks after the baby is born
• Your future bleeding risk • Smoking
What is the treatment for blood clots? • Age 55 or older
What are potential side effects of blood thinners?
The primary treatment is medication that pre- • Chronic illnesses such as heart and lung
The most common side effect is the risk of conditions, or diabetes
vents abnormal clotting, known as an anti-
bleeding. Symptoms of bleeding include:
coagulant or “blood-thinner”. Blood-thinners • Obesity
increase the time it takes for blood to clot. They • Blood in your urine or stools • Confinement to bed
stop new blood clots from forming and keep • In women, heavy bleeding during a period or • Sitting too long, especially with legs crossed
existing clots from growing larger. They do not other heavy vaginal bleeding • Long travel (> 4 hours).
dissolve a clot. However, by preventing clots • Severe bruising
Second, recognize the signs and symptoms of
from getting bigger, they allow your body’s own • Prolonged nosebleeds (lasting longer than blood clots and contact your HCP:
10 minutes)
clot busting system time to dissolve existing • Swelling, usually in one leg or arm
blood clots. • Coughing up blood
• Leg pain or tenderness that feels like a
For any type of bleeding, seek medical help as cramp or Charlie horse
Blood-thinners may be given as: soon as possible if it does not stop as quickly as
• a pill by mouth you would expect. • Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
• an injection (shot) into the skin • Leg (or arm) warm to touch.
When can you resume normal activities?
• an injection into a vein (IV) The signs and symptoms of a PE include:
• If you had symptoms such as pain and
Common anticoagulant medicines include: swelling, they usually improve days after you • Sudden shortness of breath
start your medicine and you can resume • Chest or back pain-sharp, stabbing; may get
• Coumadin®, Jantoven® (warfarin) worse with deep breath
most normal activities at that time.
• Lovenox® (enoxaparin) • Rapid heart rate
• Safely resuming exercise and sports is a
• Savaysa® (edoxaban) decision to make with your HCP, and de- • Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody
• Pradaxa® (dabigatran) pends on your physical condition. Walking mucus.
• Eliquis® (apixaban) or swimming are usually considered good CALL AN AMBULANCE OR 911 IMMEDIATELY
• Xarelto® (rivaroxaban) choices as exercise. IF YOU EXPERIENCE THESE PE SYMPTOMS.