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  • Question 1/6

    Once a clot forms, it stays in your blood for years. 

  • Answer 1/6

    Once a clot forms, it stays in your blood for years. 

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    After a clot has done its job, your body breaks it down. The fibers dissolve, and the cells are absorbed back into your bloodstream. Usually it takes several weeks, but it could be months or longer. Any leftover clot will become scar tissue.

  • Question 1/6

    What’s more likely to cause a problem blood clot?

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    What’s more likely to cause a problem blood clot?

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    Pregnant women's bodies form blood clots more easily. That protects them from bleeding problems during childbirth until a few months afterward. But it also means their blood is more likely to clot in the veins of their legs and pelvis.

  • Question 1/6

    What tells your body to make a clot?

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    What tells your body to make a clot?

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    When your tissue is damaged, a chemical gets released into your bloodstream, and it acts as a distress call to start the process. Cells called platelets rush to the scene. 

    Rough edges of the blood vessel wall help them stick together and form a plug, filling in small tears and sending out more chemical triggers. Then, proteins called "clotting factors" finish the job, trapping blood cells in a mesh-like net.

  • Answer 1/6

    Blood thinner meds work by:

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    These drugs don't actually make your blood thinner; they make it harder to form clots. That's a good thing if you're at risk for clots that could slow or block the flow inside your blood vessels.

    Common medications like warfarin (Coumadin) and heparin affect different steps of the process than newer ones like apixaban (Eliquis), dabigatran (Pradaxa), edoxaban (Lixiana, Savaysa), and rivaroxaban (Xarelto).

  • Question 1/6

    What in your medicine cabinet can help prevent blood clots?

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    What in your medicine cabinet can help prevent blood clots?

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    That everyday remedy for aches and pains is also an anti-platelet drug. It keeps your body from making thromboxane, the chemical that tells your platelets to form a clot. There are prescription antiplatelets, too.

    Talk to your doctor before you start taking aspirin to prevent blood clots. It can be dangerous when you have certain medical conditions.

  • Question 1/6

    What's the best way to avoid blood clots while flying?

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    What's the best way to avoid blood clots while flying?

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    When you settle into a small space for a while, like on a plane or in a car, you can develop a clot called a DVT (deep vein thrombosis). It's very unlikely you'll get one, but if you do, it could become deadly.

    Lower your chances of trouble by drinking lots of water. Stand up and move around every hour or two. Or at least change your sitting position and flex your feet. Don't cross your legs -- that cuts off blood supply.

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Sources | Reviewed by James Beckerman, FACC, MD on September 07, 2017 Medically Reviewed on September 07, 2017

Reviewed by James Beckerman, FACC, MD on
September 07, 2017

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SOURCES:

American Society of Hematology: "Blood Clots," "Blood Clotting & Pregnancy."

Clot Connect: "FAQ: When will my clot and pain go away?"

Canadian Blood Services ResearchUnit. "Plasma fibronectin: keeping the delicate balance between bleeding and clotting," October 2014.

National Blood Clot Alliance: "How and why does blood clot?"

Bauer, K. 55th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting and Exposition, New Orleans, Dec. 7-10, 2013.

Medscape: "Current Antiplatelet Medications."

BabyCentre: "Thrombosis in pregnancy."

CDC: "Blood Clots and Travel: What You Need to Know."

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