Deep-vein blood clots: What you need to know

Learn how to recognize and prevent this dangerous condition, known as venous thromboembolism, or VTE.

When a blood clot blocks an artery supplying the heart or the brain, the result is a heart attack or stroke. Most Americans are familiar with these two serious health threats. But they're probably less familiar with the dangers of venous thromboembolism, or VTE — a clot that forms in a vein.

A clot in the leg or arm, known as deep-vein thrombosis, can cause pain, swelling, and redness in the affected limb. But the real threat occurs if the clot breaks off and travels to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »