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Blood Clots

Learn about: Deep Vein Thrombosis, Pulmonary Embolism, Brain Ischemic Stroke and Heart Attack.

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Blood Clots:

Every 5-7 minutes, someone in Canada dies from a blood clot related health issue.

Deep Vein Thrombosis What is it?

A blood clot refers to a blockage (aka. sugar ball) in your arterial system (arteries and veins). Anyone can get a blood clot, but there are some known factors which create a higher risk of getting a blood clot within individuals, including, but not limited to; surgery, trauma, lifestyle, accident, blood disorder, family history and yes sometimes just sheer bad luck.

We here at Clots Matter will try to educate you on blood clots, what they are, how to prevent them and building awareness for this silent, but deadly killer.

Venous thromboembolism, or VTE refers to blood clots in the venous circulation. These are the blood vessels that return blood to the heart, so it can be replenished with oxygen. If a blood clot develops in the venous circulation, then blood starts to back-up. Areas upstream from the clot can become swollen or painful as blood without oxygen starts to pool. While areas downstream from the clot become starved of oxygen and can actually die off.”

~ Source: ThrombosisCanada.ca

Statistics Statistics

There is much data to suggest that blood clots is a leading global killer, which with support and awareness, will have a high margin of success preventing clots around the globe. The numbers are staggering to say the least, worldwide it is estimated that blood clot related deaths are #1, #2 or #3 in the world, depending on the data.

Every 5-7 minutes, someone in Canada dies from a blood clot related health issue.”

~ Source: ClotsMatter.ca

VTE affects about 5% of Canadians in their lifetime. Every year about 200,000 Canadians are diagnosed with VTE and about 1/4 of them (50,000) are actually hospitalized.”

~ Source: ThrombosisCanada.ca

In 2012, more than 66,000 Canadians died from heart disease or stroke. That’s one person every 7 minutes.”

~ Source: HeartandStroke.com

Each year, DVT affects around one person in every 1,000 in the UK."
(UK Population est. 65,053,048 / 1000 = 65,053+ affected by blood clots)

~ Source: NHS.uk

Almost 500,000 people in the European Union are estimated to die from VTE annually, of which only 7% are diagnosed with the condition before their death"

~ Source: Tri-London.ac.uk

The precise number of people affected by DVT/PE is unknown, although as many as 900,000 people could be affected (1 to 2 per 1,000) each year in the United States. Estimates suggest that 60,000-100,000 Americans die of DVT/PE (also called venous thromboembolism).”

~ Source: CDC.gov

Signs and Symptoms Signs & Symptoms

Knowing the signs and symptoms of blood clots can help to prevent them and/or help to get the necessary help required before something serious happens in your body. A large number of people die from blood clots every single day. Awareness is the key to prevention.

Below we will outline some of the signs and symptoms most commonly found. Please note: 50% of all blood clots have no signs at all, but if you suspect anything at all, call 911 immediately.

Seek Emergency Care if You Have any of these Signs and Symptoms:

• Shortness of breath
• Swelling (limbs)
• Sudden loss of feeling (limbs)
• Heart is pounding
• Your arm starts to sting all of a sudden
• Speech impediment (loss of speech)
• Squeezing sensation in your chest
• Loss of consciousness
• Body discomfort in the arms, back, neck, or jaw
• Chronic pain in the calf area
• Sudden blindness
• Tenderness over a vein
• Sharp pain when the foot is flexed upwards
• Massive confusion

How a Clot Presents Itself:

• Reddish/Purple bruising
• Limbs swelling beyond normal
• Stiffness (behind the knee)
• Red blotches
• Warm sensations in the affected area

Therapies Therapies

Depending on the location of your blood clot, certain therapies will be administered to help; break down the clot, reduce inflammation, help with the pain and introduce anticoagulants for long term therapy.

Please note: 50% of all blood clots have no signs at all, but if you suspect anything at all, call 911 immediately.

Upon Diagnosis:

This is just an illustration of a typical treatment outline based on a regular DVT within the leg.

1. Risk Assessment:
Blood work and an ultrasound will be performed to recognize markers in your blood, and to see if there’s a blockage noticeable on the ultrasound.

2. Fragmin Injections:
Initial therapy would include a 7-14 day injection of Fragmin, which is used to break down the clot quickly, while providing the patient with some form of pain-therapy.

3. Anticoagulant Therapy:
Once done the injection therapy, patients are put on anticoagulants to help with the healing process for a period of time determined by the health professional depending on the patient’s risk factors.

Typical Anticoagulants Include:

a. Activase - (Alteplase)
b. Arixtra - (Fondaparinux)
c. ASA - (Aspirin a.k.a acetylsalicylic acid)
d. Coumadin - (Warfarin)
e. Eliquis - (Apixaban)
f. Fragmin - (Dalteparin)
g. Heparin - (Injections)
h. Lovenox - (Enoxaparin)
i. Normiflo - (Ardeparin)
j. Orgaran - (Denaparoid)
k. Plavix - (Clopidogrel)
l. Pradaxa - (Dabigatran)
m. Prasugrel (Effient)
n. Savaysa - (Edoxaban)
o. Xarelto - (Rivaroxaban)

4. Outpatient Therapy:
Depending on the severity of your clot, you may go through outpatient care, which includes physiotherapy, nutrition help, blood work done (Testing INR / Coumadin), review after 3-4, 6, and 12 months.

5. Inpatient Therapy:
For those who suffered from a stroke, pulmonary embolism, and/or brain aneurysm, the care for the patient is usually done in-house to help monitor the patients progress. In many cases, it’s vital to monitor the patient for signs of deterioration and complications.

Prevention and Risks Prevention & Risks:

Blood clot prevention plays a huge role on an individual’s life, those at higher risk need to take preventative measures to ensure they don’t suffer from blood clots in any part of their body.

These prevention ideas are key to awareness:

Obesity - Losing weight decrease pressure on the heart
Pregnancy - Anticoagulant therapy
Smoking - Quitting smoking
Trauma - Always get checked after traumatic events
Family History - Know your family's history for prevention
Staying Mobile - Always moving around, stretching
Playing Video Games - Schedule times to stretch and take a break
Flights - Ensure to stand and stretch every 30 minutes
Working – Get up from your desk once a hour, move your chair position constantly

What are some of the risks to be aware of?

• Long periods of non-movement
• Infection
• Surgery or trauma
• Medications (birth control pills, etc.)
• Cancer treatments
• Medical history
  • Family history of clots
  • A history of repeated clots before 40 yrs/age
  • Recurrent miscarriages at birth
  • Family history of uncontrolled bleeding

Medical Note:

Any and all information provided here is not designed to give medical advice and/or replace recommendations from doctors.
Information therein comes from personal experiences of thrombosis patients.

What's Your Clot Story?

We are looking for brave souls to help tell their blood clot story to others. By sharing your story, you will help other clot fighters to break down the barriers that each of us is facing within the health industry.

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