Recognizing the Symptoms of a Blood Clot

The New York Mets seemed to be one of baseball’s unluckiest teams when it came to injuries this past season. Among the many injuries sustained, pitcher Dillon Gee was lost for the season due to a blood clot in his pitching shoulder.

Gee threw 8 innings and got the win versus the Chicago Cubs on Saturday, July 7. The following day, he complained of numbness in his fingers. By Monday, he was diagnosed with a blood clot in his shoulder. Soon after, Gee underwent a procedure to break up the clot with a catheter.

So the question arises: How does something like this occur in a young, healthy, active individual? The answer is somewhat unknown at this time. However, it is most important to recognize the symptoms of a blood clot, and to know what to do if you suspect that you may have one.

Blood clots are often referred to as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT. They are often thought to occur in sedentary individuals and affect mostly the lower extremities. The truth is that blood clots can affect anyone, can occur anywhere in the body, and have the potential to be a life-threatening situation. If not treated promptly and effectively, a blood clot can break off and travel to the lungs, resulting in a pulmonary embolism. A pulmonary embolism is a critical event requiring immediate emergency medical care.

It is important to recognize the symptoms of a blood clot. Symptoms include:

–         Heaviness, weakness, achiness or numbness in the fingers or toes

–         Moderate to severe swelling in the area often accompanied by warmth of the area

–         Unrelenting pain that is difficult to resolve and severe tenderness to the touch

–         Discoloration and skin changes

–         Large distended veins

Any of these symptoms are a reason for immediate medical attention. Blood clots can be treated effectively and safely if recognized early. So, let your body be your guide; play it safe because sometimes it can really be a matter of life and limb.