When a person injures themselves, blood clots to help seal the injury and prevent too much blood loss. Afterward, the blood clot naturally dissolves. That kind of blood clot is, of course, a good thing. However, sometimes blood clots form and don’t dissolve. It can happen anywhere in the body and lead to serious medical problems. The symptoms of a blood clot depend on where in the body it occurs. Below are some common places a blood clot may happen, and the symptoms an older adult may experience.
Arms or Legs
A blood clot that happens deep in a limb is called a deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. A person is at greatest risk for a DVT when they don’t move around much, such as after a surgery. Some signs of a DVT are:
- Swelling: The entire arm or leg may swell, or it may swell only in the area of the clot.
- Color Change: The limb may look red or blue. The skin may also feel warm or itchy.
- Pain: The limb may start to feel sore or hurt, feeling like a dull ache or a severe pain.
- Leg Cramps: When a clot occurs in the calf of the leg, it can feel like a cramp.
Clots in the lungs usually happen when a blood clot that formed in an arm or leg broke off and moved into the lungs. This can cause:
- Trouble breathing or shortness of breath.
- Chest pain.
Sometimes clots form in the blood vessels that carry blood away from the intestines. Symptoms of this kind of clot include:
- Belly pain that may feel worse after eating.
- Bloody stools.
- Bloating feeling.
A blood clot that develops in the kidneys can prevent waste from being removed from the body. The result can be high blood pressure or even kidney failure. Symptoms of a clot in the kidneys are:
- Pain that occurs in the side of the bell, thighs, or legs.
- Blood in urine.
- High blood pressure.
- Swelling in the leg that is severe and comes on suddenly.
- Difficulty breathing.
Senior care can watch for signs of a blood clot in your aging relative and report them to family caregivers. If emergency assistance is needed, a senior care provider can call 911. If the older adult is diagnosed with a blood clot, a senior care provider can help them to follow the doctor’s advice for treatment, such as by reminding them to take medications.