Thrombosis can lie hidden as a medical condition with no presenting symptoms, and even when symptoms do show, they can be difficult to distinguish from symptoms of other medical problems. When they do manifest, the symptoms of thrombosis are most commonly pain, swelling, warmth, or redness of the skin over the affected area. If these symptoms go unnoticed, it is possible for thrombosis to progress to a potentially fatal embolism. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include coughing up blood, sudden shortness of breath, and chest discomfort.
The term "thrombosis" refers to the obstruction of a vein or artery by a blood clot. When clots become too large to pass through the circulatory system, they block the passage of other blood cells. The most common type of thrombosis is deep vein thrombosis, which usually results from a blood clot somewhere in the leg. Thrombosis, while possibly painful, is generally not fatal, however the most common complication can have severe health consequences: if the blood clot dislodges, it can travel to other essential organs such as the heart, lungs, or brain and cause heart attack or stroke.
Symptoms of thrombosis can be difficult to pinpoint because they are similar to those of other health problems. Sometimes the symptoms do not present at all, which can be dangerous because an embolism could occur without warning. Generally, the most common symptom of thrombosis is swelling in the affected area, and as a result of that swelling, the enlarged area may feel tight or constricted; pain related to swelling of the affected area is another common symptom. Similarly, the affected area might also feel warm or appear to be abnormally reddish in coloration. Individuals with one or more of these symptoms should seek medical attention, and might be advised to undergo further testing to diagnose thrombosis.
Unfortunately, symptoms of thrombosis that are undiagnosed can potentially lead to the migration of the clot, called an embolism. The symptoms of an embolism can include sudden difficulty breathing and shortness of breath, a feeling of discomfort or constriction in the chest, or even coughing up blood. Often, if these symptoms manifest, it is because the symptoms of thrombosis were not recognized, and an embolism occurred.