Blood Clot Info: Risks, Symptoms, and Prevention

Last updated: July 13, 2022

Blood Clot Info: Know Your Risk, Recognize Symptoms, and Prevent Blood Clots

Get all the blood clot info you need from the National Blood Clot Alliance. Here is all the main information you need to know about blood clots, all in one place.


Know Your Risk for Blood ClotsRisk Factor card in hands of Medical Doctor

Blood clots do not discriminate. They affect people of all ages, races and genders. One of the most important things you can do to prevent blood clots is to know if you are at risk. The risk factors for blood clots include:

  • Hospitalization for illness or surgery
  • Major surgery, particularly of the pelvis, abdomen, hip, knee
  • Severe trauma, such as a car crash
  • Injury to a vein that may have been caused by a broken bone or severe muscle injury
  • Hip or knee replacement surgery
  • Cancer and cancer treatments
  • Use of birth control methods that contain estrogen, such as the pill, patch or ring
  • Pregnancy, which includes the postpartum period (six weeks after the baby is born)
  • The use of hormone therapy containing estrogen
  • A family history of blood clots
  • Overweight
  • Confinement to bed or wheelchair
  • Sitting too long, especially with legs crossed
  • Smoking/vaping
  • Age 55 or older
  • Long-term diseases such as heart and lung conditions, or diabetes

symptomsRecognize Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots

There are several important signs and symptoms of blood clots. If you can recognize these signs and symptoms, you can save your life or the life of a friend or family member.

Symptoms of a Blood Clot in the Leg or Arm (deep vein thrombosis or DVT)

  • Swelling
  • Pain or tenderness not caused by injury
  • Skin that is warm to the touch
  • Redness or discoloration of the skin

If you have these signs or symptoms, alert your doctor as soon as possible.

Learn more about how DVT is diagnosed: How is DVT diagnosed?

Symptoms of a Blood Clot in the Lung (pulmonary embolism or PE)

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath or lying down
  • Coughing, or coughing up blood
  • Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat

Seek immediate attention if you experience these signs or symptoms.

Learn more about how PE is diagnosed here: How is PE diagnosed?

Blood Clot Awareness Stop the Clot® Acronym

Share our Blood Clot Awareness Stop the Clot acronym to highlight the signs and symptoms of blood clots. Knowing can save your life or the life of someone you know. Download a PDF version here.


Black Populations and Blood Clots

Black or African American people have up to 60% higher rates of life-threatening blood clots than white people.

  • Studies have shown that Black people have higher blood clot mortality rates than any other group.
  • Black women face higher rates of maternal mortality connected to blood clots during pregnancy and in the three months after giving birth.

More information on Black populations and blood clots here.


Preventing Blood ClotsHealthcare prevention

Blood clots are preventable and can be safely treated.  You can reduce your risk by learning some of the best ways to protect yourself from life-threatening blood clots:

  • Know your risk for blood clots
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms
  • Tell your doctor if you have any blood clot risk factors
  • Before any surgery, talk with your doctor about blood clot prevention
  • See your doctor as soon as possible if you do have any symptoms of a blood clot
  • Get up and move every few hours if you’ve been sitting for a long time or traveling by plane, train, or car
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Don’t smoke or take steps quit smoking

Learn About Blood Clot Treatment and Care

Find a Doctor

Finding a healthcare professional who understands the complexities of blood clotting is one of the most important decisions you’ll make if you’ve been diagnosed with blood clots or if you think you may be at risk. If you need help finding a doctor who specializes in blood clots or blood clotting disorders, visit here: Find A Doctor Resources

Blood Clot Treatment

The prevention and treatment of blood clots primarily involves the use of anticoagulant medications, also known as blood thinners. These medications do not actually “thin” the blood, they slow the body’s ability to form new clots and keep existing ones from getting bigger. Learn more about blood clot treatment here: Blood Clot Treatment.


Get More Life-Saving Information to Share

Stop the Clot, Spread the Word™

You’ll find great information, including stop the clot doc-logoimportant downloadable checklists that you can share, at Stop the Clot, Spread the Word™.

Share our infographic as a guide to information about risk factors, signs/symptoms, and prevention and watch our short video with the most important blood clot info people need to know.

Women and Blood Clots

women and blood clotsHelp women understand the blood clot risks connected to several important life stages, including birth control and family planning, pregnancy and childbirth and the treatment of menopause symptoms.

Share our Women and Blood Clots Infographic with the women you know or watch our entire Women and Blood Clots Video Series.


Your Recovery and Peer Support

Your Recovery

If you’ve been diagnosed with a blood clot or clotting disorder, you may be wondering, “Now what?” While recovery from blood clots can be difficult, overwhelming, and even life-changing, most people do recover completely and go on to resume their normal lives and activities. Get the tools to help you through blood clot recovery from NBCA’s e-Magazine dedicated to VTE recovery and lifestyle issues: Personal Perspectives: My Blood Clot, My Life.

Peer Support

A blood clot diagnosis cane be devastating, but you’re not alone. We created the Team Stop The Clot® Facebook Group for blood clot survivors to share their blood clot journeys, talk about exercise, ask questions, cheer each other on, and provide comfort. Join the group here.

Personal Stories

Personal storytelling about blood clots makes an impact. For more than 15 years, NBCA has been giving blood clot survivors a platform to tell your blood clot stories, which we share on our website, on social media, in our educational programs, and in our day-to-day efforts of  advocating for all people affected by blood clots and clotting disorders. You can read these stories here: Patient Stories

Connect and Share

Connect with NBCA on social media today for more information to share: Share to Stop the Clot

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