Large Blood Clot in Arm after Blood Draw – What To Do?
Thrombophlebitis occurs when a blood clot within a vein occurs and causes swelling. Most often, this occurs in the legs. In rare cases, a blood clot in arm areas or in the neck may occur as well. When the clot appears near the surface of the skin it is referred to as superficial thrombophlebitis. It is less serious than when a clot forms deep within the body, a condition known as a deep vein thrombosis.
A DVT or deep vein thrombosis occurs most predominantly in the lower legs and is very serious. These types of clots are the most common culprits for moving through the body and causing heart attacks and strokes. Because the clots associated with a deep vein thrombosis form in larger veins throughout the body, they are much more severe than those that occur closer to the surface. It is very uncommon for a blood clot in arm areas to be the result of a DVT, however blood clots in legs from a DVT are the result the majority of the time.
Typically when blood is drawn, the recipient of the prick feels a minimal amount of pain perhaps followed by a bit of pressure and then a little discomfort following. Having blood drawn is incredibly safe and health care professionals that draw blood are trained to be precise. However sometimes, the experience is a little less than textbook and whether because the person having blood drawn has very small or very difficult veins or for other reasons, the procedure may not go as planned. Sometimes in these cases, bruising and pain can follow a blood draw and very rarely, a blood clot in arm areas surrounding the draw site may appear.
It is important to understand that having blood drawn is not known as a common reason for blood clot causes. Typically, immobility, injury or disease are the most common culprits. Persons who are confined to a bed for long periods of time are much more susceptible. And, those taking birth control pills are also at a greater risk for developing blood clots in leg areas, and this risk is even higher if they smoke. There are some clotting disorders that can be considered blood clot causes, and conditions like Factor V(5) Lieden put people at a higher risk for developing clots. However, even in these people the risk is still minimal.
If a blood clot in arm veins is suspected following a blood draw it is incredibly important to seek medical care. It is possible that the suspected clot is something else that can produce blood clot symptoms such as pain and tenderness. The body is able to dissolve superficial clots on its own, however it is still essential to have the area looked at by a doctor. In many cases, what appears to be a blood clot in arm areas is nothing more than phlebitis, which is irritation and inflammation that can appear at an injection site or following an IV or catheter. But, it is impossible to know precisely what the cause of the symptoms is so seeking medical care is imperative. Thankfully, a blood clot in arm areas is much less likely to travel about than a DVT in the leg is. A clot in the legs is more likely to head upwards and lead to a pulmonary embolism or worse. But that doesn’t mean that clots in the arms are nothing to worry about.
If a small clot in the arm has formed, it is possible that no blood clot treatment will occur. It may simply be observed until the body naturally breaks it up and dissolves it. However, the formation of a blood clot in the arm may signal underlying health conditions such as those that require medications to treat. This is another reason why prompt medical care is very important.
Anyone at higher risk for developing blood clots may want to consider some natural blood thinners, especially if lifestyle factors like smoking or birth control pills are present. Herbs like garlic and ginger can thin the blood naturally and potentially lead to a reduced risk of forming dangerous clots. And there are also many blood thinning foods to consider as well. Grapes and blueberries as well as some types of fish can all be enjoyed regularly to take advantage of their natural blood thinning benefits like salicylates and Omega-3’s.
A suspected blood clot in arm areas should be evaluated by a health care provider immediately. It is possible that it is phlebitis in disguise or potentially something more serious. Anyone at higher risk for developing clots should ensure that they are increasing their activity levels, eating a healthy and balanced diet that incorporates some natural options for thinning the blood, and reducing risk factors like smoking or obesity if possible. Clots in the arms from blood draws are very rare, but it is always best practice to have the site looked at if one is suspected.