How Many Types of Blood Clots?

Blood clots are jelly-like masses of blood. They can occur in arteries or veins in your heart, brain, lungs, abdomen, arms, and legs. There are two main types of clots: arterial and venous.

Arterial Clots
These form in your arteries — the blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart. Arterial clots block blood and oxygen from reaching your vital organs. They can lead to tissue damage.

Often, they occur in your legs and feet. Sometimes, they happen in your brain, where they can lead to stroke. Or, they may form in your heart, where they can cause a heart attack.

Arterial clots can also take root in your kidneys, intestines, or eyes, though this is rare.

You may not have any at first. As the clot grows or blocks more of your blood flow, you might notice any of the following:

Cold arm or leg
Fingers or hands that feel cool to thae touch
Muscle pain or spasm in the affected area
Numbness or tingling in your arm or leg
Weakness of the affected limb
Loss of color in the affected limb

Venous Clots
These form in your veins. They tend to develop slowly. That’s why you might not know you have one until it causes problems.There are three types of blood clots that form in the veins — superficial venous thrombosis, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism (PE).

If your vein is near your skin’s surface (superficial venous thrombosis), these may include:
Painful, swollen, inflamed skin over the affected vein
A vein that feels hard or painfully tender to the touch
Red skin over the affected vein

If you have a DVT, you may notice the following:
The affected leg is swollen (sometimes both legs swell).
You have a cramping pain or soreness in your leg, usually in the calf. It may be worse when you bend your foot back toward your knee.
There’s an aching, heavy feeling in the affected leg.
The skin in the area of the clot is warm or red.
A DVT is a medical emergency. See your doctor right away if you notice these symptoms.

Left untreated, a DVT can turn into a pulmonary embolism. Call 911 if you have pain, swelling, or tenderness in your leg, and: You can’t breathe. You have chest pain.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.