In normal circumstances, blood clotting is needed for repairing the broken blood vessels of the body. Organelles, known as platelets, perform the complex process of blood clotting. To form blood clots to plug the broken blood vessel, chemicals are secreted by the platelets.
These chemicals along with multiple clotting factors form fibrin, a type of protein, which forms a mesh over the injured blood vessel, forming a blood clot and stopping bleeding. However, sometimes blood clots formed inside the body causes immense damage and even death.
Cause of blood clots
Blood clot that occurs inside a vein is known as venous thrombosis. It occurs when a limb is immobilized for a prolonged period. When a limb, especially the legs remain stationary for a long time and the muscles fail to contract properly, the blood flow through the vein becomes stagnant. This might lead to formation of small blood clots along the wall of the vein.
Gradually, over time, the clot might grow in size, leading to partial or complete obstruction of blood flow. Blood clot in the artery, also known as arterial thrombi, occurs in people suffering from atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis, hardened fat deposits or plaques obstruct blood flow through the blood vessels.
Eventually, a plaque might rupture, causing blood clots in the artery at the site of the rupture. The blood clot partially or completely obstructs blood flow, leading to stroke, heart attack or peripheral artery disease. People suffering from hypertension and high blood cholesterol, diabetics, smokers and people with a family history of arterial blood clots have a higher risk of experiencing arterial clots.
Blood clots might develop in the heart in atrial fibrillation patients. The illness characterized by abnormal heart rhythm develops when the upper chamber of the heart or atrium fails to beat properly. It might slow down blood flow through the walls of the atrium, increasing the risk of clot formation. Blood clots might occur after a heart attack, when the damaged muscle of the heart fails to contract properly.
Normal blood clotting that occurs at the site of wounds sometimes cause health problems. Infection, injury or tumors in the urinary tract cause bleeding during urination. Occasionally, blood clots might develop in the bladder, leading to urinary retention. Abnormal vaginal bleeding might cause blood clotting inside the uterus, causing pain and heavy vaginal bleeding.