Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots

Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

Deep Vein Thrombosis:

Signs and Symptoms

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs, but sometimes in your arm. The signs and symptoms of a DVT include:

  • Swelling, usually in one leg (or arm)
  • Leg pain or tenderness often described as a cramp or Charley horse
  • Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
  • Leg (or arm) warm to touch

These symptoms of a blood clot may feel similar to a pulled muscle or a “Charley horse,” but may differ in that the leg (or arm) may be swollen, slightly discolored, and warm.

Contact your doctor as soon as you can if you have any of these symptoms, because you may need treatment right away. If you need help finding a doctor, please click here.

Learn more about how a DVT is diagnosed here.

Pulmonary Embolism:

Signs and Symptoms

Clots can break off from a DVT and travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal. The signs and symptoms of a PE include:

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus

Call an ambulance or 911 immediately for treatment in the ER if you experience these PE symptoms.

Learn more about how a PE is diagnosed here.

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.


Learn More and Get Involved

Learn more about life-saving information about blood clots here.

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