Blood Clots in Veins, Heart and Lungs

This information is useful for adults and older adults
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Why Yale Medicine?
  • Our doctors work in teams to address blood clots (especially ones affecting the heart) as quickly as possible.
  • Our doctors use state-of-the-art technology to treat and diagnose blood clots.
  • Our doctors are involved in cutting-edge research to better understand them.

Blood clots are usually harmless. They form whenever we cut or scape our skin or bump into something and get a bruise. However, when blood clots form within blood vessels they can obstruct blood flow, a condition called thrombosis. That could mean trouble. If a clot in an artery breaks free and travels through the circulatory system, it can cause blockages affecting the heart, lungs and other organs—potentially shutting them down.

The results can be deadly. According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, thrombosis affects up to 900,000 people in the United States per year and kills up to 100,000.

“At Yale Medicine, patients with suspected thrombosis get evaluated very quickly,” says Michael Remetz, MD, a Yale Medicine physician and professor of Cardiology at Yale School of Medicine. For blood clots that affect the heart: “That is precious time when the heart is being damaged. If a large part of the heart is affected, permanent heart damage results. Or, it can be fatal.”