Blood clots can form in or travel to the arteries or veins in the brain, heart, kidneys, lungs, and limbs. Blood clots can limit or block blood flow. This can damage the body's organs and cause a number of problems. In some cases, blood clots can be fatal.
A blood clot in the brain can cause a stroke. A stroke occurs when blood flow to your brain is cut off. If blood flow is cut off for more than a few minutes, the cells in your brain start to die. This impairs the parts of the body that the brain cells control.
A stroke can cause lasting brain damage, long-term disability, paralysis (an inability to move), or death.
A blood clot in the heart can lead to a heart attack. A heart attack occurs when blood flow to a section of heart muscle becomes blocked. If the flow of blood isn't restored quickly, the section of heart muscle becomes damaged from lack of oxygen and begins to die.
This heart damage may not be obvious, or it may cause severe or long-lasting problems such as heart failure or arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats).
Kidney Problems and Kidney Failure
A blood clot in the kidneys can lead to kidney problems or kidney failure. Kidney failure occurs when the kidneys can no longer remove fluids and waste from your body.
This causes a buildup of these fluids and waste in your body, high blood pressure, and other health problems.
If a blood clot travels from a deep vein in the body to the lungs, it's called a pulmonary embolism, or PE. PE is a serious condition that can damage your lungs and other organs and cause low oxygen levels in your blood.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
A blood clot in a vein deep in your arm or leg can cause pain, swelling, redness, or increased warmth in the affected limb. This type of clot is called deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. These clots also can break off, travel to the lungs, and cause PE.
Blood clots can cause miscarriages, stillbirths, and other pregnancy-related problems, such as preeclampsia (pre-e-KLAMP-se-ah). Preeclampsia is high blood pressure that occurs during pregnancy.