Blood clots are a mass formed by platelets and fibrin within arteries that are used to stop bleeding. They act as a dam to prevent blood from leaving the body. Blood clots often form after an injury that causes bleeding, although on occasion they can form within the body unexpectedly. When this happens, harsh side effects can occur that can lead to heart attack and stroke.
Blood clots form for a number of different reason. Their primary purpose is as a response to bleeding that results from an injury. Certain heart conditions can also lead to blood clots. Atrial fibrillation is an abnormal beating of the heart that can lead to clots forming within the chambers of the heart and spreading to other areas of the body.
Blood clots can also form following surgery. Oftentimes those undergoing hip or knee replacement surgery can suffer from a complication known as deep vein thrombosis. DVT occurs when a blood clot forms deep within the leg. The formation of the clot in the leg does not pose much of a risk, but the clot does have the potential to travel to other areas of the body, which can lead to potentially life-threatening health risks.
The primary risks associated with blood clots are heart attacks, stroke, and pulmonary embolisms.
Blood clots that form in the arteries of the heart can get lodged within those arteries and cause a heart attack. Heart attacks can lead to heart failure and sometimes death.
Blood clots can also form within the lungs. This condition is known as a pulmonary embolism and can lead to a shortness of breath, rapid breathing, coughing up blood, and sometimes death.
Sometimes blood clots can be created within the actual chambers of the heart as a result of atrial fibrillation. These clots can travel to the brain and cause strokes.
The most common means of treating a blood clots involves taking a blood thinner. Blood thinners are a type of medicine that prevent blood from coagulating, or forming a blood clot. These medicines come with their own special set of risks and side effects. There is more information about blood thinners at the Blood Thinners Page.
Xarelto is one of the more well known blood thinners that has come on the market recently. This drug is produced by Bayer and has gained media attention due to some safety concerns and deaths that have been associated with the drug.
Many people that have taken the drug feel as though they were not adequately warned about the potential health complications that the drug could induce. It does not have an antidote, as many blood thinners do, to stop bleeding if an injury occurs. This has lead to some patients suffering from uncontrollable and unstoppable bleeding which can lead to death. Be sure to consider the consequences and health effects associated with these drugs before taking them. There is more information about Xarelto at the Xarelto Overview Page.