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Serious: Concerned about Blood Clots?

Old 12-29-04, 03:29 PM
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Serious: Concerned about Blood Clots?

Someone i know died a few years ago from some blood clot going into his lungs. Lately Im starting to worry about myself.

I know usually they form in your legs but sometimes the way I sleep, I wake up with numbness in my arms (the way they are folded has the circulation cut off).

Is this something to worry about?
Old 12-29-04, 03:42 PM
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My brother had a blood clot in his lung a year or so ago. He was in pretty rough shape for a while, but has thankfully made a full recovery. He was on Coumadin for quite a while after that.
I also have problems with my arm "falling asleep" while sleeping. I've found that by sleeping with a pillow under my arm helps quite a bit.
Old 12-29-04, 03:48 PM
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I was hospitalized late september for a bi-lateral emboli, check it out there if you want:

http://www.dvdtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=388736

I wouldn't worry about your arm falling asleep though. Are you breathing alright? Before going to the hospital I felt like I was only using 30% of my lungs; so get checked out if you feel you can't breathe to full capacity
Old 12-29-04, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Save Ferris
Someone i know died a few years ago from some blood clot going into his lungs. Lately Im starting to worry about myself.

I know usually they form in your legs but sometimes the way I sleep, I wake up with numbness in my arms (the way they are folded has the circulation cut off).

Is this something to worry about?
Completely unrelated.
Old 12-29-04, 03:59 PM
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if you are waking up with numbness in your arms, its because a nerve gets pinched, not because of a circulation problem or bloodclot.

is your BP normal ?
Old 12-29-04, 04:22 PM
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I last saw a doctor over 5 months ago and they did the routine BP tests without any comment. I also feel a 'puffyness' in my hands and fingers when it happens making me think that the blood has been sitting there. once i move them around a bit, it goes back to normal--but then of course i worry that i pushed a clot to my lungs. Theres no pain though.
Old 12-29-04, 04:24 PM
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the numbness in your arms is most likely a result of nerve impinchment...much less likely to be from arterial insufficiency, and certainly not venous. quite unlikely that you'd develop a blood clot in your arms without having some sort of edema (swelling).
Old 12-29-04, 04:44 PM
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Well when it happens my hand is definitely swelled for a little while. Making a fist is hard because my hands/fingers are bigger.
Old 12-29-04, 04:47 PM
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is it in BOTH your hands or just one?
Old 12-29-04, 04:50 PM
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sometimes its one arm/hand sometimes its both. After I wake up and move it around it gets better.
Old 12-29-04, 04:52 PM
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sounds a little like venous insufficiency, but not quite. that's usually occurs in the legs, usually of older folks. how old are you, if you don't mind me asking?
Old 12-29-04, 07:49 PM
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first off, it is generally agreed that blood clots in the arms CANNOT cause pulmonary emboli (lung blood clots), just a thrombophlebitis. i feel the puffiness/tingling in your arms when you sleep is due to lack of blood flow (buy a body pillow to hug tight so all of your weight/pressure isnt on your arms) which causes blood stasis and allows for fluid to leak out (not blood, lymph fluid, this is a normal thing). it is doubtful the stasis is long or severe enough to cause a clot.

people who have clots at a young age usually have some precipitating factor other than the "i havent moved my legs in awhile" such as hypercoagulability, infection, medications, smoking, fractures, other injuries, etc. is there any history of blood clots or sudden deaths in your family? and female have a history of multiple miscarriages or difficulties getting pregnant?

what is your age? if you are overly concerned about it, you can always take a baby aspirin (81 mg) every day to reduce clots without causing much harm but be aware that this will increse your bruising if you are an active person

this thread need TEK, m.d.
Old 12-29-04, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by krkuhl
this thread need TEK, m.d.

Old 12-29-04, 10:18 PM
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Agreed with the above...tingling/numbness that you may experience in your fingers/toes after a night's sleep is due to compression of nerves, not blood vessels.

Most young people who run into problems with blood clots (deep venous thrombosis in the legs, causing pulmonary emboli in the lungs) are those with multiple risk factors - e.g. taking birth control pills, going on a long trans-atlantic air flight, history of polycythemia, history of smoking, etc. Most young people don't need to worry yet.
Old 12-29-04, 10:40 PM
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Now that there is 14 serious posts in a row, I have to add that it may be caused by your color choice in jeans.























Seriously, go see a doctor if it'll help calm your nerves.
Old 12-29-04, 10:59 PM
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Serious: Concerned about Blood Clots?

I wasn't until you brought it up

thanks alot
Old 12-29-04, 11:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Ketamine
Completely unrelated.


Symptoms of DVT include pain and swelling - if there were numbness it would be because of noticeable swelling.

Contrary to conventional wisdom upper extremity DVT do cause pulmonary embolus - up to 1/3 of UEDVT result in PE.
Old 12-30-04, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by skiblet
if you are waking up with numbness in your arms, its because a nerve gets pinched, not because of a circulation problem or bloodclot.

is your BP normal ?

could you be diabetic? I know numbness in the limbs is one of the many symptoms.
Old 12-30-04, 10:56 AM
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It sounds mostly like the excess fluid in my hands/arms (normal?) like you described.

sometimes I wake up with one arm pinned against the mattress and the other up over my head, or arms folded awkwardly. Its like ive forgotton how to sleep lol

I did gain about 10lbs in the last 2 months which i should be shedding after the holidays and i can cut down the extra calories.
Old 12-30-04, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. M


Symptoms of DVT include pain and swelling - if there were numbness it would be because of noticeable swelling.

Contrary to conventional wisdom upper extremity DVT do cause pulmonary embolus - up to 1/3 of UEDVT result in PE.

Yeah, I also thought that UE DVTs could cause PEs. I don't see why they couldn't.
Up To Date, here I come.
Old 12-30-04, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. M
Contrary to conventional wisdom upper extremity DVT do cause pulmonary embolus - up to 1/3 of UEDVT result in PE.
That's what I've heard as well.
Old 12-30-04, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Bubba
Yeah, I also thought that UE DVTs could cause PEs. I don't see why they couldn't.
Up To Date, here I come.
let me know what up to date says about this--very curious!
Old 12-30-04, 10:40 PM
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Originally Posted by krkuhl
first off, it is generally agreed that blood clots in the arms CANNOT cause pulmonary emboli (lung blood clots), just a thrombophlebitis. i feel the puffiness/tingling in your arms when you sleep is due to lack of blood flow (buy a body pillow to hug tight so all of your weight/pressure isnt on your arms) which causes blood stasis and allows for fluid to leak out (not blood, lymph fluid, this is a normal thing). it is doubtful the stasis is long or severe enough to cause a clot.

people who have clots at a young age usually have some precipitating factor other than the "i havent moved my legs in awhile" such as hypercoagulability, infection, medications, smoking, fractures, other injuries, etc. is there any history of blood clots or sudden deaths in your family? and female have a history of multiple miscarriages or difficulties getting pregnant?

what is your age? if you are overly concerned about it, you can always take a baby aspirin (81 mg) every day to reduce clots without causing much harm but be aware that this will increse your bruising if you are an active person

this thread need TEK, m.d.
Wow dude, Im not trying to totally diss you or anything and I dont know what your background is or anthing but your advice is kind of scarry. In fact, your post points out why medical advice should not be looked for on a web site.

First off, the numbness is most likely (as stated already) due to a nerve being compressed not because of poor circulation. Sure, both can cause it, but the time of onset is a big thing here. The symptoms of nerve compression onset faster and the circulation issue is usually more of a chronic problem (think of thoracic outflow disease). First thing that one should do to determine if it is nerve or circulation is to check the capilary refill of the limb when this is happening. If it is indeed a circulation issue the capilary refill will be greatly depressed.

Second, what on earth are you talking about when you say that DVT's in the upper limbs dont cause PE? That is total nonsense and is dangerous. Lets review what a PE is and how they relate to DVTs. A PE is an embolus (to simplify... something hard that occludes bloodflow, like a clot, or fat, or air, or bone marrow, or amniotic fluid, get the point?) that gets lodged in the lungs. This is commonly beause of a blood clot, hence the DVT "deep vein (not superfical meaning) thrombosis (clot)." This clot forms in the deep veins, breaks off and moves towards the heart. Here it enters the Right atrium then right ventricle and then goes into the lungs via the pulmonary arteries. So, what this means is that anything that comes from the veins in the body will end up in the lungs and if it stops flow it causes a PE.

See how this is different from when someone has a CVA or stroke. Here something has broken off AFTER the lungs. This could be from the pulmonary veins (rare), left atrium, left ventricle or from the aortic arch leading up to the carotids. Some embolus breaks off and goes up to the brain via the carotids. Same thing as a PE, just only in the brain.

So could a DVT cause a CVA or "stroke?" Yes, in fact it could. What would need to happen is there would need to be a pathway that bypasses the lungs. This could be from a hole in the atrial septum (wall between the L and R atrium) also known as an ASD (atrial septal defect). Here the DVT comes from the systemic circulation into the Right atrium, through the ASD, into the Left Atrium then left ventricle, aortic arch, carotids, brain=cva.

So who is at risk of a DVT? What you need to look at is the Virchow triad. He lists the three factors that if out of line can cause a DVT. 1) Venous stasis (drunk passing out too long, or person in bed w/o movement, or long trip etc) 2) Vessel wall damage (ARF, trauma, etc) 3) Hypercoag disorders (lots, yes birth control does increase clotting but it is rare, medications yeah sure, but more likely is something genetic, imagine sickle cell attack)

Here endith the lesson. Again, just be carefull when asking medical advice in a forum period. In fact, dont trust a word that I say either. Call YOUR doctor and make an appointment. Hope I could help.
Old 12-30-04, 11:09 PM
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First off, according to UpToDate.com, you can get PEs from an UE DVT. I didn't bother with a quote.

Second, Gasspasser, I really don't want to start any kind of flame war but...
As far as I can tell, all of the information in your post is 100% correct, however the manner in which you delivered the info was a bit rude. The guy could be a first year med student. I'm sure he is just trying to help and to learn at the same time. I hope that you don't "teach" your residents or med students in such a manner. Just remember, no matter how much you know about medicine, there is always someone out there who knows more.
That being said, thanks for all the great info.

Finally, Ferris, I don't think you have a blood clot in your arm. But go see your doctor and get a Doppler of your arm just to be sure. You could also ask your doctor about thoracic outlet syndrome. You may also want to get an EMG of the nerves in your arm if the sensations persist. And if you ever develop sudden chest pain or shortness of breath, go to the ER right away.
Old 12-31-04, 06:07 AM
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If I sit on the toilet for more than 10 minutes, my legs start going numb.

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