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Complications of Deep Vein Thrombosis
With deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot may grow large enough to block blood flow within a vein. When this happens, complications may develop that pose immediate health threats, and can even be fatal if not treated. Seek treatment right away if you have any of the symptoms described below.
A pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs when an embolus (a piece of blood clot) in the bloodstream travels through the heart and into the lungs. If the embolus becomes lodged in a blood vessel in the lungs, blood flow can be blocked. Symptoms can quickly develop and cause life-threatening heart and lung problems.
When to Call 911
A pulmonary embolism can cause symptoms similar to those of heart conditions. Get medical help right away if you have the following:
Shortness of breath
Sudden chest pain
Coughing up blood
If a blood clot remains in a vein for some time, it can cause severe damage. Blood can pool in a leg vein. This can cause ongoing pain, swelling, and skin damage, resulting in a condition called post-thrombotic syndrome. If symptoms are not controlled, you can even develop open wounds on the leg called venous skin ulcers.