Ask a Doctor
- Although a deep vein thrombosis may resolve on its own, the life-threatening consequences of a clot reaching the lung, called pulmonary embolism, are severe enough to warrant seeking medical attention immediately.
- The doctor may tell the patient to go immediately to a hospital emergency department.
If a person has leg pain or swelling with any risk factors, go to a hospital emergency department immediately.
Call 9-1-1 if you or someone you know with a current deep vein thrombosis, previous deep vein thrombosis, or other DVT/PE risk factor begins having chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fainting, or any other concerning symptom.
Signs and symptoms of a blood clot in the leg or deep vein thrombosis occur in the affected leg when a clot obstructs blood flow and causes inflammation. Signs and symptoms of DVT may include:
- Gradual onset of pain
- Warmth to the touch
- Worsening leg pain when bending the foot
- Leg cramps, especially at night, and often starting in the calf
- Bluish or whitish discoloration of skin
Some people with deep vein thrombosis do not experience any symptoms.
For more information, read our full medical article on deep vein thrombosis.
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Dentali, F., et al. "Pulmonary embolism severity index accurately predicts long-term mortality rate in patients hospitalized for acute pulmonary embolism." Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis . 11.12 (2013): 2103-2120.
Litzendorf, M. E. and B Satiani. "Superficial venous thrombosis: disease progression and evolving treatment approaches." Vascular Health and Risk Management. 7 (2011): 569-575.
Lucena, J., et al. "Pulmonary embolism and sudden-unexpected death: prospective study on 2477 forensic autopsies performed at the Institute of Legal Medicine in Seville." Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine. 16.4 (2009): 196-201.
MedlinePlus. Deep Vein Thrombosis. Thompson, B.T., MD. "Overview of acute pulmonary embolism in adults." Updated: Aug 08, 2016.