December 31st, 2012
12:56 PM ET

Blood clots: 4 things you need to know

Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was hospitalized Sunday for a blood clot that formed after her she fell and suffered a concussion a few weeks ago.

The clot was discovered during a follow-up exam related to the concussion, said Clinton's spokesman, Philippe Reines, deputy assistant secretary of state. Clinton, 65, was expected to remain at New York Presbyterian Hospital for the next 48 hours for monitoring and treatment with anticoagulants - drugs that prevent clots from forming or prevent them from growing larger.

Reines said Clinton's clot was found in the vein located in the space between the brain and the skull behind the right ear. "It did not result in a stroke, or neurological damage. To help dissolve this clot, her medical team began treating the Secretary with blood thinners," said Clinton's doctors in a written statement.

Blood clots most often develop deep in leg veins, and symptoms are easily missed. The medical term for blood clots developing in the large veins of the leg or pelvis is deep vein thrombosis (DVT). An estimated 2 million Americans develop DVT each year.  

Here are four things you need to know about blood clots:

1. DVT is not life-threatening (most of the time)

Most cases of DVT are simply treated with a blood thinner that breaks up the clot and prevents it from migrating to different areas in the body. However, if left untreated, DVT can result in a pulmonary embolism, which occurs when the blood clot travels from the leg to the lungs. It accounts for nearly 200,000 deaths a year.

2. Travelers have the highest risk 

A large long-term study published in the journal PLoS One in 2007 found the more frequently a person travels, the higher their risk. This is because blood clots are generally caused by sluggish blood flow through the vein, usually from sitting in cramped positions for long periods of time. Experts say most cases of DVT develop on flights over four hours in length. Some studies show the cabin pressure of an airplane also plays a role. Most people think DVT strikes just older adults, but research shows that women taking birth control pills, people over 6 feet 1 inch tall, and adults under 30 are at increased risk.

3. There are warning signs

If your leg, ankle or foot is swelling, cramping or feel warm to the touch, that may be a sign of a DVT blood clot. Also, sudden onset of shortness of breath, anxiety or chest pain may be a warning of pulmonary embolism, or a blockage in a lung.

4. Keep the blood flowing

The most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of developing a blood clot is to get up and walk around every 30 to 45 minutes to keep the blood flowing in your legs. If you are stuck at your desk at work, or on an airplane and can't get up, simply pumping your leg/foot or rotating your ankle can help to get the blood moving. Staying hydrated is also essential. Alcohol and anything with caffeine can add to dehydration and up your risk of developing a blood clot.

soundoff (2,080 Responses)
  1. Kay Davis

    The last time I flew commercially, I felt the threat of blood clots because there was rough weather and we were kept down in our seats, all of which were overcrowded. Certainly the stewardess' cart didn't help. I stretched my legs and massaged them and pulled them back, changing positions as often as possible. That kind of cramped flight, I swore, I would never pay money for again. I've done a lot of travelling but by car so I can stop often and walk around before continuing on.

    December 31, 2012 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ScottCA

      I unerstand your choice completely. I dislike the cramped spaces on airplanes for the same reason. I also like to drive to my destinations because I maintain control that way., Statistically, however, we are likely placing our lives in greater risk by choosing to drive.

      December 31, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse |
    • Holly

      Did anyone mention taking an asprin? Best plan ever to keep those clots from forming. People are so strange about medication. Guess if it cost $2 a pill maybe more people would think it is a better drug but since it is so inexpensive they don't bother with it.

      December 31, 2012 at 16:16 | Report abuse |
    • Jean

      Holly, I appreciate your comment about aspirin. But I had surgery on my foot a month and a half ago. I am in a cast to the knee. I was prescribed a daily aspirin, and ended up in the ER last week vomiting blood. I had developed a bleeding ulcer from the aspirin. Just a warning to those who might consider this. Please be monitored by your PCP!

      December 31, 2012 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
    • hitech

      Very smart move Kay. I don't know how old you are, but I am going on 64. And stopping every couple of rest areas for a little stroll is a good idea.I gave up flying commercially in 2002. If I don't fly myself, I will drive and stop every hour and a half. My sister died last month. Went into the hospital with a broken arm for a plate and some screws. Two days after surgery, she threw a clot while still in the hospital and was dead within a second or two.

      December 31, 2012 at 17:29 | Report abuse |
    • massms


      Do not take aspirin unless prescribed by your physician...even then, be extremely cautious. Aspirin can cause great harm to the kidneys.

      December 31, 2012 at 18:30 | Report abuse |
    • stephen

      YOU MUST think as to why a clot forms to begin with. The BODY IS DESIGNED and functions to heal itself and a clot is just that ..... reacting to an inflammatory response. WHEN you cut yourself [say with a knife] clotting is a normal reaction the body takes in order to STOP ANY BLEEDING. Hence, a blood clot in an arterial cavity is a result OF INFLAMMATION ELSEWHERE thus forming the clot. THE BEST BLOOD test to inform yourselves of potential clotting is C-CRP [C Reactive Protein] which measures inflammation within the body. NOW, it won't tell you where the inflammation is, but will inform you that you've got internal inflammatory issues.

      January 1, 2013 at 09:44 | Report abuse |
    • Holly

      In response to taking asprin and stomach problems. Yes they can cause stomach problems – no doubt – BUT you should always take an extrs step to avoid that. Take that asprin WITH food. Not on an empty stomach. Checking the ratio asprin does more good than harm so its your decision. Since there are strokes in my family history, I will continue to take my baby asprin with my breakfast food. My decision and my doctor agrees.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • doug lowrey

      NATTOKINASE is an enzyme from fermented soy beans. Been around Asia for hundreds of years. Natto will dissolve blood clots without any known side effects. Check it out. It is fairly inexpensive and usually available in health food stores.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:33 | Report abuse |
    • CJ

      @ScottCA, yes the probability of an accident is significantly higher in a car, but I'll take my chances in a car accident than a plane accident any day.

      January 1, 2013 at 12:32 | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Asprin is GOOD for clots; however, everyone needs to know if they can take asprin or not. If you can take asprin, you are in good shape. I knew someone who was having a clot going to his heart (he had chest pain), he was given an asprin. Doctor told him if he did not take the aspin the clot would have killed him. The asprin help until he got to the hospital. If you are having the signs, take and asprin and still go to the hospital.

      January 2, 2013 at 08:48 | Report abuse |
  2. Patrish

    18 months ago, II had DVT in my lower left leg – never had the leg cramp symptom. Right after the scan showed it, they started on anticoagulant . Have a great cardiologist – clot is gone, but he is doing one more final (6 month) check up to make sure none have come back.

    December 31, 2012 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DuchessFeathers

      Good luck to you!

      December 31, 2012 at 15:34 | Report abuse |
  3. Abbie

    I'm surprised there's a major error in this article. Blood thinners/anti-coagulants do not break-up clots, as stated in this piece. They decrease your blood's ability to clot, which prevents your clot from getting larger, as well as preventing anothe clot to form. Your body's natural system eventually absorbs and dissolves the clot.

    December 31, 2012 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Michael J.

      Shut up, Abbie.

      December 31, 2012 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
    • abdula Oblongota

      Not nice Terry....Bradshaw! You sound like you missed a turtle waxing of your chrome dome.

      December 31, 2012 at 14:47 | Report abuse |
    • NGO

      You are correct Abbie. This article needs to be updated and future posts need to be fact-checked by someone who knows what they're talking about.

      December 31, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
    • DuchessFeathers

      I've read this three times – where does it state the blood thinners "break up" clots. I cannot find that sentence anywhere. It states she is being given the drugs which prevent clots and keep some from growing larger, but no where does it state they break them up.

      December 31, 2012 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
    • John

      Easy to miss but yes it does say that.
      Under list item 1. article says "a blood thinner that breaks up the clot", which I believe is incorrect – they should reword this. There is enough misinformation on the web already..

      December 31, 2012 at 17:01 | Report abuse |
    • Sweetie

      Yes Abbie is correct! I noticed that, too. I wish the author would write correctly that blood thinners prevent enlargement of the current clot and formation of new clots. They do NOT dissolve clots. The body does this. In the case of acute stroke or acute myocardial infarction, there are clot busting drugs that can be given. However, these are only given for very specific scenarios...not for DVTs and the like.

      December 31, 2012 at 18:11 | Report abuse |
    • gladys rangaratnam

      Actually anticoagulants are not "blood thinners". Their mechanism of action is to disrupt a step in the clotting process of the blood so that the chances of further clots forming or the increase in size of the current clot are reduced. This allows the normal breaking down of clots to occur.

      December 31, 2012 at 21:35 | Report abuse |
    • Cindy

      Abby, you are correct. The aspirin helps thin the blood so the clot may not get larger but the body eventually takes care of the clot on its own. Have a great day!

      March 24, 2014 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      I suffer from blood clots caused by lupus. The course of treatment for DVT is hospitalization for two to four days under a regimen of heparin which actually does dissolve the clot. Then there is a continuation of a daily regimen of coumadin(warfarin), gradually building it up to a stage considered to be adequate for preventing future clots. It does this by decreasing the number of platelets in the blood which cause clotting as doe aspirin. Continue and constant use of aspirin is dangerous to your kidneys, liver, and digestive tract. The use of coumadin requires dietary changes of decreasing the amount of green leafy vegetables which supply vitamin K, an important vitamin that aids clotting.

      July 21, 2014 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
    • Dwight Turner

      Thank you for your explanation. I was so confused. I have multiple clots in my left leg from pelvis to below the calf. They put me on blood thinners but I read that blood thinners do not desolve clots. What? Then how do the clots go away? You helped me see that it is the bodies natural healing process that eventually dissolves the clots. Run for something so I can vote for you!

      October 7, 2017 at 18:13 | Report abuse |
  4. joe

    Blood clots are scarey. I am active , I run aprox 40-50 miles a week don't fly that often and have a job where i move around alot but still developed blood clots in my lungs. Woke up one morning with shortness of breath and pain..almost didnt go see the doctor..but when i went to stand and collapsed I figured I had better go and ended up spending 10 days in the hospital trying to clear the clots. They couldn't figure out where they started so be advised do not take symptoms lightly. Luckily I do not have to the blood thinners anymore but I am constantly listening to my body more closely.

    December 31, 2012 at 14:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sc3453

      If you have had a blood clot your doctor should screen your blood for thrombophilia (hypercoagulability). A certain percentage of the population has this hereditary blood condition and are more prone to developing a blood clot. Hematologists are blood experts which will test the blood for these conditions.


      December 31, 2012 at 19:10 | Report abuse |
    • gladr

      Didn't the same sort of thing happen to Serena Williams, and for sure she is one active person. Very strange. I hope someone figures it out so that you can prevent further episodes. Cheers.

      December 31, 2012 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
  5. Melanie

    I have been taking blood thinners since I was 24 years old. I have a very rare blood clotting disorder that essentially makes me the opposite of a hemophiliac...instead of blooding too easily, I clot too easily.

    My most frequent symptom is toothache pain. Ever had a toothache? If you ever suspect you have a blood clot, have someone drive you to the ER immediately. Better to be wrong and spend a couple of hours in the ER, than to be right and go home instead.

    December 31, 2012 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Melanie

    Sorry, I should clarify the toothache pain is in my leg...not in my teeth. =)

    December 31, 2012 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Edwin

      ...kind of different than most toothaches then...

      December 31, 2012 at 15:28 | Report abuse |
    • sc3453

      I had a blood clot in my leg 20 years ago while pregnant, it didn't feel like a "toothache" it felt like my leg was getting stiff in the groin area and spreading down my thigh. I have been tested for thrombophilia since going through menopause the dr. wanted to see if HRT would be appropriate. I went to three hematologists. One lab result said I had elevated protein C and S. Another lab said protein C & S were normal. It's very strange that 2 different labs came up with different results. I was told by my doctor to not cross my legs and to exercise my ankles by moving my feet while lying down.

      December 31, 2012 at 19:16 | Report abuse |
  7. kelly in los angeles

    because i dont have a lot of money i dont have a car and have never flown in a plane.i walk everywhere. very educational article

    December 31, 2012 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Super nurse

    Abbie is absolutely correct in her post regarding anti-coagulants AKA blood thinners DO NOT dissolve clots they only prevent new clots from forming.t-PA (tissue plasminogen agents) are used in the emergency setting to dissolve clots under strict medical supervision and the patient needs to meet specific criteria in order to receive these agents. I believe the author of this article should submit a revision since people need to be informed with the correct information.

    December 31, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DGTX0631

      To Abbie & Super Nurse:

      Yes – your definition of anti-coagulants is right on the money. But as another CNN reader pointed out and asked, "Where [in this article] does it state the blood thinners "break up" clots? I cannot find that sentence anywhere." So, again, please point out EXACTLY where you are finding this "mistake" in the article? Why does the author of this article need to "submit a revision" – for what??? CNN may not be the best news source for all things medical, but you are doing more of a disservice by creating a non-issue simply to give stage to your common sense medical know-how.

      December 31, 2012 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
    • KDMB

      1. DVT is not life-threatening (most of the time)

      Most cases of DVT are simply treated with a blood thinner that breaks up the clot and prevents it from migrating to different areas in the body. However, if left untreated, DVT can result in a pulmonary embolism, which occurs when the blood clot travels from the leg to the lungs. It accounts for nearly 200,000 deaths a year.

      December 31, 2012 at 17:16 | Report abuse |
    • MJ

      Open your eyes DGTX. Under point 1in the article it clearly states "most cases of DVT are simply treated with a blood thinner to break up the clot and prevent it from migrating to different areas of the body". Blood thinners, or more accuratly anticoagulants do neither. They do not disolve clots and they do not prevent them from migrating. They do prevent them from growing larger but also put the patient at higher risk for bleeding.

      January 1, 2013 at 15:20 | Report abuse |
    • purnells

      Also, third paragraph:

      "To help dissolve this clot, her medical team began treating the Secretary with blood thinners"

      January 2, 2013 at 05:05 | Report abuse |
  9. D

    I had a blood clot in my brain, boy that was not fun.

    December 31, 2012 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sc3453

      I had one in my leg, I count my blessings it didn't go to my lung or brain...... I hope Hillary is okay. When I heard she had a clot I became very concerned. They are very serious and can kill you. A clot forming in the leg vein can break off and go into your lungs or into your brain. Very scary. In the lung it's called a pulmonary embolism. Emboli are little pieces of blood clots.

      December 31, 2012 at 19:20 | Report abuse |
  10. Remember When

    Some say an asprin will greatly reduce this risk when flying. Be safe for a few pennies.

    December 31, 2012 at 15:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sc3453

      I read that aspirin may not reduce risk of clots in the leg, but will reduce the risk of heart attacks. Wish we didn't hear conflicting information all the time. While flying you should drink water and walk around once an hour.

      December 31, 2012 at 19:22 | Report abuse |
    • zzyzz

      Well, if some say that I will definitely do it. Who needs large clinical studies when some will say anything?

      January 1, 2013 at 14:06 | Report abuse |
  11. NGO

    DuchessFeathers, read closer, under #1: "Most cases of DVT are simply treated with a blood thinner that breaks up the clot and prevents it from migrating to different areas in the body." This is factually incorrect.

    December 31, 2012 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Nicole

    I think certain birth controls cause greater risk of blood clots. I am wondering if the amounts of blood clots you have during your period could be indicative of blood clots elsewhere in the body? Are there any physicians on here who could answer that question?

    December 31, 2012 at 16:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sweetie

      That's a great question, Nicole. It is true that certain forms of birth control will increase the chance of forming clots. To the best of my knowledge, your exact question has never been formally studied. However, the answer is most likely that clots in your menstrual cycle are NOT a reflection of clots elsewhere. Menstruation is the shedding of the uterine lining in the event that pregnancy does not occur. Since this is tissue, it can have a lot of clots. More clots or fewer clots here does not mean that you have clots in your arteries or veins elsewhere in your body.

      December 31, 2012 at 18:19 | Report abuse |
    • Jo

      My grandmother died in her early 40's of a blood clot in her lungs caused by the pill. It was one of the first on the market. I don't know how they are today though.

      January 1, 2013 at 09:14 | Report abuse |
    • bapaksubarjo

      If your leg, ankle or foot is swelling, cramping or feel warm to the touch, that may be a sign of a DVT blood clot. Also, sudden onset of shortness of breath, anxiety or chest pain may be a warning of pulmonary embolism, or a blockage in a lung.


      July 3, 2014 at 01:04 | Report abuse |
  13. Holly

    Take a daily asprin and the risk is greatly reduced. Such a simple thing to do. A baby asprin will do the trick so why not just do it. Taking it with food is a good plan.

    December 31, 2012 at 16:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ilikesoup

      No thanks, I like my liver. I knew a guy who had a lot of arthritis and joint problems from a career in karate. He took asparin most days...died from liver cancer at 55. I avoid medication except in cases of absolute last resort. Not sure how people don't realize that pumping chemicals into your body should be avoided unless absolutely necessary. Want to really blow your mind? Look up the active ingredient in Coumadin, the most common blood thinner – its Warfarin...also the same active ingrediant in rat poison. You know how a rat dies?... it bleeds out internally. The cure for blod clots is to poison a person in a controlled way for 3-6 months. But I'm sure it won't leave any lingering effects...

      December 31, 2012 at 17:03 | Report abuse |
    • LogicCheck

      Please make sure everyone sees their physician before starting up any therapy instead of listening to someone like Holly on a forum proclaiming baby aspirin as some kind of panacea. Yes it can be a good cardiac prophylactic but it also increases risks of bleeding and may not be suitable for some.

      December 31, 2012 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
  14. Barton W.

    Surprised nobody has mentioned the world's best-kept secret for the prevention of blod clots:
    maple sugar candy! Laugh all you want, but this is backed up by extensive research. Because
    the researchers are not part of the 'in crowd' that has access to JAMA and other leading,
    high-profile publications, they have not gotten their message out. Maple sugar candy is
    made via a process that eliminates natural clotting agents that exist in certain sweets,etc.
    The results are amazing. Try it.

    December 31, 2012 at 16:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. slar

    DVT is not normally life threatening but results in nearly 200,000 deaths per year? Really? I had ankle surgery two years ago and developed massive blood clots in my lungs ablout a week later. Nearly died that night. I spent several days in the ICU and every doctor and nurse that came by were told what I had and that I had orthopedic surgery a week earlier. They all nodded knowingly as soon as they heard 'orthopedic surgery'. I did a fair amout of research after that and found DVT is a real concern following orthopedic surgery. My surgeon didn't mention it to me so I wasn't on the lookout for symptoms. Wish he had, I would have called 911 sooner and the damage may not have een as great.

    December 31, 2012 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sc3453

      There are a lot of very stupid doctors out there malpracticing medicine. My first OB/gyn told me I didn't have a blood clot in my leg, he told me "it's sciatica". Really doctor, sciatica makes your leg swell up as hard as a rock and turn red? My next doctor sent me for testing and put me in the hospital where IV Heparin was given for a week. I was on shots for 6 months afterward till the end of the pregnancy. I should have sued the first doctor for his malpractice. He was a moron.

      December 31, 2012 at 19:28 | Report abuse |
  16. Abbie

    @DGTX0631 - You need to read more carefully. The very first sentence under number 1 in the list states: "Most cases of DVT are simply treated with a blood thinner that breaks up the clot and prevents it from migrating to different areas in the body. "

    That's the error that needs to be corrected. So, before you use your multiple ??? tone, you might want to read more carefully. Why would I bother taking the time to state a correction for a non-existent mistake?

    December 31, 2012 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gladr

      If you read the original article and did not click on the extra info about Blood Clots: 4 things......etc. you would not read the misinformation about "breaking up the clot" etc. The person asking the question has obviously only read the info that pertained directly to Hillary Clinton, and not all the other stuff, which is kind of confusing anyway because it has nothing to do with Hillary's case

      December 31, 2012 at 22:53 | Report abuse |
  17. Abbie

    ARGH. Sanjay Gupta was just on CNN repeating the error state above. His credibility has really taken a hit in my eyes. This is pretty basic info to know about clots.

    December 31, 2012 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. xtra-medium

    My mother passed away 3 weeks ago from blood clots. She took herself off of coumadin because she was afraid of bleeding. She should have been afraid of blood clots. Sometimes you need to listen to your doctor.

    She was fine in the ER at 11:00am and dead by 11:30am.

    December 31, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ira jaimison

      I'm soo sorry to hear about your mom.... I know what a tough time you are having right now.

      They have alternatives to Coumadin (rat poisoning) that are safer and lessen the risk of bleeding.

      Women typically put themselves last when it comes to their health- they are the caretakers and tend to not take care of themselves. I knew a 50 yr old woman who had high blood pressure and went off her meds without tellign her doctor....two days later- she complained of feeling flu-like symptoms- went to the doctor- who sent her home with "the flu".....two days later she had a major stroke and died shortly after.

      You can't take any chances with your health. Demand answers and demand tests be done and tell them you are not leaving until they conduct them.

      You have to take charge of your health.

      December 31, 2012 at 18:13 | Report abuse |
    • sc3453

      OMG, you have my condolences. My mother had a blockage in her carotid artery, she has had surgery and later had a stent put into her neck artery. She was on Plavix and baby aspirin after the stent was put in. Too bad your mom didn't ask her doctor's advice re stopping Coumadin.

      December 31, 2012 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Actually Ira jaimison coumadin is one of the safer anticoagulants as it is HAS an antidote, and your PT/INR (clotting time) is closely monitored. Xeralto does not and is not monitored. As for the half truth about rat poison...Rat poison is "industrial grade" coumadin not the other way around please inform yourself or at least don't misinform others.

      April 24, 2016 at 22:31 | Report abuse |
  19. Bobby Brown

    Does regular exercise reduce the risk?

    December 31, 2012 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Ira jaimison

    It's what they are not telling you that worries me. They knew this was very serious a long time before this. Dehydration doesn't make you fall and hit your head resulting in a concussion- her blot clot did. This happens to many women and especially to women (like her) who travel expensively, are post menopausal, and over 50.

    They are saying she didn't have a stroke- but I bet they're lying. Mini strokes (most of the time) don't show up o MRI's and they can't say for sure. People can have them and not know it. Her flu like symptoms were a definite sign of a mini stroke and you can bet they are making sure she doesn't have another one. ALL her symtoms point to stroke- (especially the blood clot)

    Young women are at a much higher risk of stroke now wih increased use of birth control and with young professional women traveling for business.

    If you are a woman- you really have to know your risk factors and try to prevent it at all costs.

    My my mother died at 50 from a stroke and trust me- you don't want that to happen to anyone.

    Women need to become educated and make usre that ER docs don't rush them out of the ER with "the flu"- hundreds of thousand of women die because of their ignorance.

    December 31, 2012 at 18:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Doc

    "DVT is not life-threatening (most of the time)"

    I think you could have worded it better. If a pulmonary embolism causes 200,000 deaths a year and those originate from DVTs, I would say a DVT is life threatening. Yes they are often treated successfully on anti-coagulation therapy. But to say they are not life-threatening is incorrect.

    December 31, 2012 at 18:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • sc3453

      They most certainly are "Life Threatening". It's actually luck imo that I didn't die from the clot I had 20 years ago. The doctor misdiagnosed it. This was before the internet was around or I could have looked it up. I did read about the risk in "What to Expect when you're Expecting" but no one, including my family would listen to me. They said I was overreacting to the pregnancy. Meanwhile, my leg was all swollen, hard as a rock and reddened. It also hurt like h#ll. Like I said it was in 1992 before the internet really got going.....They said it was sciatica....they also said it was "all in my head". Women are not taken seriously in this country. Also, beware of birth control pills, I have never taken "the pill" before or after my pregnancy. I avoided all hormones in pill form. Now I am going through a very tough menopause and my doctor offered me Prempro after sending me for blood tests for thrombophilia conditions but I am afraid to take any hormone pills......before you take "the Pill" consider visiting a hematologist to be screened for Thrombophilia disorders. One of my neighbor's daughters also developed a blood clot after starting on the pill at around age 19 or 20. People do not know the risk imo.

      December 31, 2012 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
    • gladr

      My mother died from pulmonary embolism after surgery. She threw massive clots from her legs and, although in hospital, no interventions were able to save her life.....so DVT is not innocuous.

      December 31, 2012 at 22:18 | Report abuse |
  22. A-azhar

    How did she developed a clot in the brain from DVT? A clot from venous system to brain? Does she have a PFO? Patent foramen ovale? I don't get it???

    December 31, 2012 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • gladr

      why would an opening in her heart give her a blood clot in her head???? I suspect the clot formed beneath the area where she struck her head when she fainted. Swelling may have interfered with the circulation there and enhanced clot formation. The clot was not in her brain.

      December 31, 2012 at 22:16 | Report abuse |
    • Summer

      Glade is right. Her clot is not a dvt. It's because she fell and hit her head. She didn't have a stroke. It's sort of like a scab that forms. The media is so stupid!!

      January 1, 2013 at 10:27 | Report abuse |
    • ahayes

      Hi Summer, please see my earlier response. This post was written before it was known where Clinton's blood clot was located. Thanks for your thoughts. Ashley Hayes, CNN

      January 3, 2013 at 10:09 | Report abuse |
  23. sc3453


    Read this article, there is conflicting advice on whether aspirin will prevent DVT.

    December 31, 2012 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. M

    In January 2010, I had all the symptoms of a blood clot in my right leg but did not know it. For three months, I walked around with several clots in my leg and pulmonary embolisms. I was finally diagnosed in March 2010 and hospitalized for three days. Warfarin (generic Coumadin) was prescribed daily and had had to get my blood checked regularly. Aspirin would have killed me. I now take daily shots of generic Lovanox since I am 14 weeks pregnant.

    December 31, 2012 at 20:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • BryantvWelch

      Sounds like you may have Factor V Leiden? It is a genetic disorder that leads to hyper coagulation.

      January 1, 2013 at 09:02 | Report abuse |
    • Holly

      Asprin would have killed you?

      January 1, 2013 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
    • Jomm

      Again, some people can take asprin while others can not.

      January 2, 2013 at 08:51 | Report abuse |
    • seabreeze100

      This is interesting, if very scary. My niece had a baby about 11 days ago and 2 days later had a blood clot in her lung. She is only 37 and I pray I don't lose her. She is following her doctors orders, but after only 2 days they are sending her home with that lo onox, or whatever it is. She looks so sick, and said she is in a lot of pain still. Is that Normal? Furthermore she is a heavy bleeder, so they are worried about That! I'm just worried about it all. Very never known anyone with this sort of problem, and am real afraid for her.

      November 20, 2017 at 23:08 | Report abuse |
  25. MW

    Blood clots are no joke. I was a perfectly healthy, active, 33-year-old female until I was hit with a pulmonary embolism (blood clot in the lungs) last month that put me in the hospital for 6 days. I'm now on blood thinners (coumadin, aka rat poison) for at least 6 months. My only risk factor was being on birth control pills. As an RN and someone who has since done a lot of research on the subject since my diagnosis, it's important to know there is a difference between arterial and venous clots. Arterial clots lead to strokes and heart attacks, venous clots (AKA DVT's) like they are claiming Hillary has, lead to pulmonary embolisms like I experienced. All of which can kill you in an instant and none of which are to be taken lightly. The latest research says taking aspirin may offer a small dose of preventing venous clots but more typically it is used to prevent arterial clots. I wish Hillary a smooth recovery.

    December 31, 2012 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Allan

    I had a full blown PE (Pulmanary Embolism) a little over two years ago. The symptoms started out as a little discomfort under my right arm, almost as mild muscle spasms. It quickly escalated into a severe pain that took me to my knees. I couldn’t sit or lay down. The pain circulated between just above my right kidney (lower lung), under my right arm and just to the right of my heart. I was so focused on my pain I never called 911. Eventually the pain subsided and I began to get cold and shake uncontrollably (shock) and passed out. I awoke the next morning feeling like I was beat up by Mike Tyson. All day I was coughing phlegm. It wasn’t until later that I realized I was coughing up blood. That’s when I went to the ER and was admitted immediately. I was given morphine and vicadine every fours hours and put on heparin that first night. I was later told just how close I came to dying and chewed out by no less than three nurses for not calling 911. Folks, a PE is not to be dismissed. This is very serious!

    December 31, 2012 at 21:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Michael Longfellow

    Pulmonary embolism survivor from October. Massive blockage, given tPA, a nasty experience. Three days trying to convince the doctor it was not a heart attack was worse. So Tyler I survived the unsurvivable. They even had me waking the halls to work my heart. Hard to trust doctors or nurses, better to trust God.

    December 31, 2012 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Rational

    Clinton client of Deepak Chopra in the past. good that she stopped visiting him now otherwise he would have prescribed "concious" as a medicine.

    December 31, 2012 at 23:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. saveyourfeet

    cvbnif you are a diabetic you need to read this blog. saveyourfeet.wordpress.com

    January 1, 2013 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. adam crespin

    i had a blood formed in the left side of my brain had a series of strokes left side was not getting blood flow or oxygen never knew what i had. Blood flow through my veins was like jello i take aspirin bayer low dosage four times a day. To keep my blood flowing clots are not a joke.

    January 1, 2013 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. BryantvWelch

    I had q clot this April in the surface veins in my right calf after severly spraining my right ankle. The cramping they talk about is no joke! It felt as if my calf was being ripped off my shin! It was more painful than the sprain! After a 90 day treatment of Coumadin, I am on 1 adult aspirin a day! Please take these warning signs seriously.

    January 1, 2013 at 08:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Logicg

    all you need to kow to prevent blood clots and and plaque removal from blood vessels in a natural cheap way is Nattokinase, this along with a good fish oil and l-arginine will work wonders on your circulatory system even helped my moms vericose veins. akk cheap and natural at ur local vitamin store., keep blood slick, vessels strong elastic and clean and u will have none of these issues.

    January 1, 2013 at 09:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • doug lowrey

      Nattokinase is an enzyme from fermented soy beans. Been around in asia for hundreds of years. It dissolves blood clots. It is very inexpensive and the best part is, it works with no known side effects. Most health food stores have it.

      January 1, 2013 at 10:28 | Report abuse |
  33. fay ruujin

    5th thing to know about clots, everyone on Fox has had one and there brains are damaged. The only part remaining that functions is the part that lies and throws insults 24/7

    January 1, 2013 at 09:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. john

    Please!!! Whoever wrote this story, go back and proofread your work. I see this time and time again in CNN news. Don't rush to get the story out. Maintain some integrity and credibility with your words and use proper grammar and clean it up. It's insulting to those who read your work.

    January 1, 2013 at 09:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ahayes

      Hi John, thanks for your thoughts. This article was proofread not once, but twice, but sometimes we can't catch everything. If there is an error in grammar or spelling, please let us know and we'll fix it as soon as possible. Thanks again. Ashley Hayes, CNN

      January 3, 2013 at 10:10 | Report abuse |
  35. n2it

    I'm an American that works a 45/45 day schedule in west Africa. The flight is usually 12-13 hours across the Atlantic and then another short flight from ATL or Houston to home. My company will only pay for the cheapest cramped seats so it's rough on my circulation. I get up a few times during the flight and try to move my legs around as much as I can while seated. I've noticed that lately I'm getting a few fine spider web varicose veins around my knees and ankles. I know that can't be good. Any suggestions?

    January 1, 2013 at 10:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Nancy

    The best treatment for many physical and emotional problems is exercise, if only short daily walks. Drink plenty of water. Get plenty of rest. Eat smart. Understand what medication you are on and what the side effects are.

    "We have a pill for that." I swear that is the thought behind the majority of doctors prescriptions.

    Aspirin has been used for a long time. Native Americans used willow bark for pain and inflammation. Similar chemicals at work. Aspirin does decrease the ability for platelets to join together, leading to easy bruising. 'Baby' Aspirin, 81 mg, is the usual suggestion for those with cardiac problems.

    If you think Aspirin is hard on the kidneys (drink lots of water), Acetaminophen (Tylenol) can really do a number on your liver.

    There are other blood thinners to be used in certain situations. Most needed regular checking. There are several medications that should have the blood levels checked but aren't.

    One of the most commonly prescribed meds now is Lipitor, a statin, to decrease Cholesterol. It can cause extreme leg pain and perhaps even a DVT. I had side effects from it and will not touch the stuff. Family history does not have early cardiac or stroke history. I've heard of one doctor putting someone on a statin even with a good lipid profile. Go figure.

    Some of you better review your basic science. Other need lessons in Civics, and composition.
    High school education does come in handy sometimes.

    January 1, 2013 at 10:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. MaryAnn

    My Mother died of this 4 years ago. She thought the pain was arthritis in her knee. It actually continued for a couple of days. Even her doctor thought it was arthritis. Unfortunately, the clot did go to her lung and it was too late to dissolve it. She was declared dead within two hours of the 911 call. I wish I had known the signs. She was otherwise very healthy up until then.

    January 1, 2013 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. joe

    The dearest friend I had in life died Dec 22, 2006 of a pulminary embolism. Sad thing is, she went to to the hospital with chest pain and they failed to recognize that it was a PE. DO NOT discount this deadly consequence of obesity and deep vein clots

    January 1, 2013 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. gary marton

    I wonder if the pain in my ear is a toothache?

    January 1, 2013 at 12:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. david wilman

    i cramped once owie!

    January 1, 2013 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. david wilman

    i crimped in the bus once. not nice.

    January 1, 2013 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. JAS

    Really good to see morons such "Just an Observer" and "Tyler" making comments on a serious subject. I am in my 8th week of a massive 14" DVT in the main femoral vein that hit suddenly with no known reason, followed by a triple pulmonary embolism. Doctor's evalation was 95% chance of an electrolyte imbalance & a 5% chance of a clot due to no sweliing, redness, shortness of breath etc. He demanded the clot test which saved my life. Maybe "Just an Observer" can be fortunate enough to get in the DVT game & Tyler can work toward better insurance.

    January 1, 2013 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. JAS

    in2it – look in to compression socks (JOBST). Would be good to check with your doctor for approval, fit & compression amount.

    January 1, 2013 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. darlene olson

    I have been diagnosed with a lood clot in my aorata how dangerouse is this and can it be cured

    January 1, 2013 at 13:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. hopefulsinners

    Reblogged this on My Blog.

    January 1, 2013 at 13:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. zzyzz

    Funny no one pointed out that Hilary Clinton did not have a DVT, but a cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. Since that is a less familiar condition to their readers, they decided to write an article about DVT instead. Hilarious.

    January 1, 2013 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ahayes

      Hi zzyzz, we actually wrote the article when it was unclear where Clinton's blood clot was. It was initially assumed it was a DVT since those are the most common. It was only revealed later the clot was located elsewhere. We kept the focus on DVTs, however, since they are again the most common type of blood clot. Thanks, Ashley Hayes, CNN

      January 3, 2013 at 10:05 | Report abuse |
  47. Terry

    One thing I haven't read in any of the posts was Lupus. My daughter was diagnosed with a blood clot from her groin to midway down her thigh, her right leg was quite swollen, red and warm to the touch. She began treatment with Lovenox injections soon after. Unfortunately, the Lupus diagnosis did not happen for a few months after finding the clot. Despite the injections and to my ignored insisting that we x-ray the clot again, she passed away in her sleep while away at college. The medical examiner agreed that the most likely cause was that a piece of the clot traveled to either her heart or brain and killed her. She was 18 days from her 22nd birthday, devastating to say the least. I should have insisted more, it truly is a silent killer, even when you think it is being treated.

    January 1, 2013 at 14:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sabrina

      Terry, I am so very sorry for your loss. I'll keep you and your family in my prayers.

      January 1, 2013 at 19:54 | Report abuse |
    • I feel for you

      Love you Terry!

      January 2, 2013 at 11:13 | Report abuse |
    • yll

      your medical examiner needs to brush up on his anatomy. a clot from the legs isn't going to embolize to the brain. it won't make it past the pulmonary circulation. for that matter embolization to the heart is pretty unlikely too. a new clot forming elsewhere is quite possible with lupus in the picture, certainly

      January 2, 2013 at 11:48 | Report abuse |
    • luckyponytoo

      I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. My husband was diagnosed with Lupus a year and a half ago and it has been a struggle for him ever since. He developed a blood clot in his leg last year after traveling at Christmas and it still has not completely gone away. I'd like to add that to their list of "misconceptions". Blood clots take MONTHS to go away. So-called "blood thinners" only prevent the clot from getting larger and keep new clots from forming. They do NOT dissolve or break up the clot itself. Your body has to dissolve the actual clot naturally, and it can take a long time, particularly since clots form in places with reduced blood flow to begin with.

      January 2, 2013 at 12:14 | Report abuse |
    • Ms M

      Terry, I am so sorry for your loss.

      January 2, 2013 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
    • Ash Cloud

      I am sorry Terry. I have two eleven year old boys and always worry about them dying due to bad people or bad medical experiences. Nothing is worse than losing your child. You are in our prayers Terry.

      January 2, 2013 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
    • Debbie

      Yll, a clot from any area that goes to the lung would HAVE to travel thru the left side of the heart to get there via the pulmonary artery (the only artery that carries venous blood) so in theory yes if the clot were big enough it could lodge in the heart, however most clots that size don't travel unless bits of them break off, and yes if they are small enough to pass thru the lung circulation they could end up anywhere. When someone has AFIB, it can cause the blood to clot and cause a stroke, all the blood goes thru the heart, so why would you say it can't go to the brain?? It is certainly not the common scenario, but it is possible. Terry, let me say I am deeply saddened by your loss,(I also have a daughter that age and would be devastated) but I'm unsure of the reason you mentioned lupus. Did your daughter have lupus? Lupus is an autoimmune disease and can cause a WIDE variety of problems with any organ or connective tissue, so there are some reasons a person may be more prone to abnormal clotting with autoimmune issues. But usually the clotting is from immobility, certain surgeries, hormones, or issues with the clotting mechanism, These are becoming more frequently diagnosed these days and treated thankfully, however the occurence and frequency of DVT and stroke in young people is on the rise for some reason. There is even a condtion where a person has inadequate platelets that actually clot abnormally, it's called TTP. It is also autoimmune, however I'm sure it would have been diagnosed as those with the condition are often covered in petechia, which looks like tiny purple or red dots, ITP is similar but usually they don't clot abnormally, they just don't have enough platelets which can make even minor traumas life threatening. if a person is going to be traveling long distance by air (or even car if they don't take breaks enough) a baby aspirin might be advisable if they are not on blood thinners or allergic.

      January 2, 2013 at 20:49 | Report abuse |
  48. Rasheed

    I've heard that things like aspirin, garlic, chamomile (and someother) tea taken on a regular basis can prevent such things.

    January 1, 2013 at 15:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Live wire

    Just to clear up some popular misconceptions, Aspirin has never conclusively been shown to prevent or clear blood clots, to any significant degree. I read an article just last year that said it provided something like a 0.0001% chance, which is statistically zero. You could say that tugging on your left earlobe is more effective. The Reactive Protein Test is only effective in CERTAIN causes of blood clots, and I am here to tell you for an absolute 100% FACT that is will NOT always precede a blood clot (I speak from experience). And, not ALL of the time people who are sedentary or cramped are the only ones blood clots can happen to...it can also happen to perfectly normal, healthy people too who were not cramped, although it is not nearly as frequent.

    I am a perfectly healthy in ship-shape and exercise AT LEAST 5X a week, high intensity aerobics, working out, running several miles, etc. I am NEVER sedentary, always active, eat very healthily, never cramped or sit in front of a computer too long, never travel long distances. I also did not test positive on any of those blood tests designed to check for blood clots, and I have no family history of them.

    I developed a MAJOR clot in my left leg that resulted in my entire leg becoming severely swollen up. They said that if I had waited much longer, it would have been life-threatening within a few days. It eventually went away, and I was eventually taken off the blood thinners. I was put on an Aspirin regimen. A year or two later, I was back in the Emergency Room with Pulmonary Embolisms, multiple blood clots in the Lungs, and cardiac Arrhythmia.

    As you can see, Aspirin did nothing to prevent it, or cure it. Even most of the people pushing it say it's highly inconclusive the scientific margin of effectiveness is well within the margin for error. In fact, my condition got far worse using it. All the blood tests came up negative, and failed to detect anything. Also there was no family history and none of the likely causes applied to me. Granted, I may be the exception to the Rule, the 1-in-a-million that it happens to, that don't fit any of the criteria. Just saying. Don't assume that these blood tests are going to find it 100 of the time. I had Major Blood Clots, I am Lucky to be alive right now. Seriously. The only other thing that I can think of is I did get the military's Anthrax shots some months before getting these blood clots.

    January 1, 2013 at 15:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Frank H

      Get your Vitamin D levels. The one and only blood clot that I had was when my D levels dropped so low they hospitaized.
      Livestrong website has links/articles . The world's Vit D leels are so low because we have become Indoor people and not realize that without sunlight major health issues will follow.

      January 1, 2013 at 20:54 | Report abuse |
  50. Caitlyn Wang

    Nice and good blog. Thanks for sharing.

    January 1, 2013 at 15:59 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.