Medical studies have shown that blood clots are the root cause of more than 90 percent of all myocardial infarctions (heart attacks) and 80 percent of strokes. The cause of blood clotting is due to component parts of the blood called platelets joining together, and forming larger sticky groups of platelets which can combine further to form a dangerous blood clot. The build up of fatty acids in the arteries (known as atherosclerosis) can reduce their effective capacity to carry blood, and a subsequent blood clot can cause sufficient blockage of the artery to trigger a serious or fatal heart attack.
What Is a blood clot ?
Blood clotting is an intrinsic part of the body’s natural processes which causes blood cells and particles of fibrin (which is a naturally occurring substance found in the body that adapts itself in response to injury) to quickly form a solid ‘clump’ of matter which acts to stop the flow of blood after a blood vessel has been damaged through injury or trauma, or non-traumatic causes.
Eventually the blood clot will form a protective scab over a damaged blood vessel, which will allow it to heal itself. Without this inbuilt mechanism to form clots, there would be fatal consequences for every human being, as the body would be unable to repair the damage caused by even a minor wound.
Why can blood clots be dangerous?
Although they form a critical part of the body’s ability to defend itself against physical injury, it is possible for blood clots to form without a physical injury being incurred. Although most blood clots tend to dissolve on their own with no long-term problems, there are situations in which blood clots can cause serious medical problems. External Blood Clots are visible as scabs which can easily be identified. However, A blood clot that forms on the inside of a blood vessel can be deadly, because it can restrict or block the essential flow of blood, cutting off the supply of oxygen to the heart or brain. This results from a blockage or embolism, which can lead to a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or a stroke when it affects the brain. Without a steady supply of oxygen, the brain cannot function normally. If the oxygen flow is broken, paralysis, brain damage, loss of sensory perceptions, or even death may occur.
What are the Root Causes of Blood Clots?
One of the major risk factors in Blood Clotting is a reduction in the blood flow through the body’s blood vessels. This can be due to any of the following possible causes:-
Trauma to a blood vessel due to an accident, surgery, fracture or burn
Heart attack or stroke in the recent past
Heart valve disease
Auto-immune disorders like lupus or rheumatoid arthritis)
Bleeding disorders such as haemophilia
Inflammatory bowel disease
Various types of Cancer
History of varicose veins or other vascular diseases
High blood pressure
Elevated platelet levels
Genetic factors such as inherited tendency for deep vein thrombosis
How can Blood Clots be prevented?
The prevention of blood clots is very important, particularly for people in high risk groups. The best prevention method is through regular exercise, elimination of smoking, effective treatment of other heart-related medical conditions, and anti-clotting medication.
What are the High Risk Groups for developing Blood Clots?
The risk factors which can influence an individual’s likelihood of developing blood clots include:-
Chronic heart failure
Treatment for Blood Clots
Physicians treat blood clots with a variety of different methods. Medications such as anticoagulants which can help prevent blood clots) and clot busting drugs (which help to dissolve existing blood clots) are prescribed to prevent and treat blood clots. In more serious situations, physicians might opt for a surgical procedure to remove the clot (known as a thrombectomy) In addition, devices may be implanted into certain blood vessels to catch blood clots before they can cause serious damage.
How to reduce your chances of developing a Blood Clot using the Heart Medication Plavix
This medicine is an antiplatelet agent which can be used to reduce the risk of stroke or heart attack in patients presenting with atherosclerosis . It may also be used to treat other related conditions as determined by a Physician. Plavix is proven to help against the formation of clots, which can help protect against the possibility of heart attacks and stroke.