When to see a doctorBy Mayo Clinic staff
Seek emergency care if you experience:
- Shortness of breath
- Pressure, fullness or a squeezing pain in the center of your chest lasting more than a few minutes
- Pain extending to your shoulder, arm, back, teeth or jaw
- Sudden weakness or numbness of your face, arm or leg
- Sudden difficulty speaking or understanding speech (aphasia)
- Sudden blurred, double or decreased vision
Consult your doctor if you develop:
- Swelling, redness, numbness or pain in a leg or arm
- Intense burning or throbbing on your palms or soles
- Chronic headache or dizziness
To reduce your risk of developing blood clots, try these tips:
- Avoid sitting for long periods. If you travel by airplane, walk the aisle periodically. For car trips, stop and walk around frequently.
- Move. After you've had surgery or been on bed rest, the sooner you move, the better.
- Change your lifestyle. Lose weight, lower high blood pressure, stop smoking and exercise regularly.
- Majerus PW, et al. Blood coagulation and anticoagulation, thrombolytic, and antiplatelet drugs. In: Brunton LL, et al. Goodman & Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics. 11th ed. New York, N.Y.: McGraw Hill; 2006. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=28. Accessed Sept. 27, 2010.
- Coagulation disorders. The Merck Manuals. The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec11/ch136/ch136a.html. Accessed Sept. 27, 2010.
- Your guide to preventing and treating blood clots. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/bloodclots.htm. Accessed Sept. 27, 2010.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 29, 2010.