Woman, 43, experienced swelling in leg for two weeks due to blood clot

British Heart Foundation: Understanding blood clots

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A certain amount of clotting in the blood is necessary as it prevents excessive bleeding when we get a cut. However, clots that don’t dissolve naturally can cause problems. They are especially concerning if they travel towards vital organs.

For example, blood clots that travel to the brain can lead to strokes and clots in the lungs can lead to a pulmonary embolism.

This is a risk if you are suffering from deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which is when a clot is found in a deep vein – often in the legs.

One 43-year-old woman was found to have DVT after suffering for two weeks with pain and swelling of her right leg.

In a case study, published in the American Journal of Case Reports, it explained how she had recently been bed bound due to an operation.

Causes of blood clots

Inactivity, specifically remaining in bed for a long time, is one known cause of blood clots.

The case study said: “A 43-year-old female was brought to the emergency room because of two-week history of pain and swelling and ultrasound revealing evidence of DVT in the right leg.

“One month ago, she underwent an exploratory laparotomy because of subacute appendicitis.

“After surgery, the patient stayed at home in bed with very limited activity.

“She did not have a cough, hemoptysis, chest pain, or shortness of breath.

“She was morbidly obese, and had a past medical history of diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), and hyperlipidemia (fatty blood).”

Being overweight and having high blood pressure and diabetes are also risk factors when it comes to developing a blood clot.

Other potential causes include:

  • Smoking
  • If you are using combined hormonal contraception
  • If you have had a blood clot before
  • If you are pregnant or have just had a baby
  • Having an inflammatory condition such as Crohn’s disease or rheumatoid arthritis.


The case study described her symptoms in more detail.

It said: “After surgery, the patient stayed at home in bed with very limited activity.

“She reported that since hospitalisation, she noticed swelling of both legs.

“Eventually, the swelling of left leg subsided but she continued to have swelling on the right side and started having pain.

“Her right leg felt warm and tender when touched.”

Swelling, redness and warm skin are all common signs of a blood clot.

Other symptoms include:

  • Throbbing or cramping pain in a leg or arm
  • Sudden breathlessness, sharp chest pain (may be worse when you breathe in) and a cough or coughing up blood.

As part of her treatment the woman was prescribed two anticoagulants – enoxaparin and warfarin.

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