Harvard Men's Health Watch

How to prevent clots in the legs and lungs

A blockage outside the heart can be just as dangerous as a heart attack.

A blood clot in the coronary arteries can cause a heart attack. But a blood clot in a large vein somewhere else in the body, called venous thromboembolism (VTE), can also end in a medical emergency. Fortunately, the risk factors for heart attacks and "vein attacks" are similar, and therefore VTE is preventable. And if you do develop a clot, treatment with anticoagulant medications can protect you from developing another.

Venous thromboembolism

Venous thromboembolism

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) means "blood clot in the veins." If a clot breaks off and travels up the aorta [1] and through the heart [2] into the lungs, the resulting pulmonary embolism [3] can be fatal.

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