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An illustration of blood cells.
An illustration of blood cells.
An illustration of blood cells.

Blood Clots

What are blood clots?

Blood clots are clumps of coagulated blood. Clots are a natural part of healing, but can also be dangerous. If an internal blood clot breaks loose and travels through the circulatory system, it may become lodged in a blood vessel and block the flow of blood to vital organs. To prevent blood clots, many patients will be given medications, including antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs.


Swelling of an extremity, with change of skin color, chest pain or shortness of breath.


Imaging studies, such as ultrasound, MRI or catheterizations.


Treatment depends on the condition. Among the medications used to prevent unwanted clotting are antiplatelet or anticoagulant drugs.

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