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Health Tip: Understanding Blood Clots

-- Blood clotting is the body's way of preventing excessive bleeding when a blood vessel is injured.

Typically, the body will dissolve the clot after the injury has healed, the American Society of Hematology says.

But occasionally, a clot forms despite no obvious injury to a vessel, or the clot doesn't dissolve on its own. This can pose the dangerous possibility of limiting oxygenated blood to tissues and organs such as the heart or lungs.

Or a clot may impede the flow of deoxygenated blood back to the heart.

The society says factors that can increase the risk of developing a blood clot include:

  • Obesity.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Prolonged inactivity.
  • Smoking
  • Some oral contraceptives.
  • Certain cancers.
  • Surgery.
  • Advancing age.
  • Family history of blood clots.
  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol.

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Posted: December 2018

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