Different types of blood clotting disorders may be caused by various health problems or genetics. When an individual has a blood clot disorder, clots will form at inappropriate times or in inappropriate places in the body. These types of clots can be dangerous and sometimes fatal if not treated right away.
Blood clotting disorders may be caused by a process called disseminated intravascular coagulation. This type of clotting disorder can be caused by severe injuries or surgery. It can also be caused certain types of bacteria that enter the vein and release toxins into the blood vessels. Cancer cells have been known to cause this blood clot disorder.
Disseminated intravascular coagulation is a two-step process. The first step occurs as small blood clots develop in the blood vessels. As more and more blood clots form, specific clotting factors that control bleeding will be depleted. Once these clotting factors are diminished, excessive bleeding can occur.
Antiphospholipid syndrome is another type of blood clotting problem. This disorder occurs when an individual has abnormal proteins in the blood. This disorder has a tendency to produce blood clots in the arteries. Arterial blood clots are very dangerous because they can settle in a main artery leading to the heart, causing a heart attack.
There are other conditions that can produce problems with blood clotting. In some genetic disorders the body does not produce enough of a specific protein that controls blood clotting. In another type of genetic disorder, the body will produce too much of a blood clotting protein. Both of these genetic disorders place an individual at high risk for developing blood clots.
The symptoms of blood clotting disorders will vary depending upon the blood vessels that are blocked by clots. If the blood clot is in an arm or a leg, pain and swelling may occur. The skin may turn red and feel warm to the touch. If a blood clot ends up in the lungs, chest pain and shortness of breath may occur. These conditions need immediate medical attention.
If an individual has disseminated intravascular coagulation, he will usually exhibit symptoms of blood clotting and excessive bleeding. The skin and the whites of the eyes may turn yellow if the clot or bleeding occurs in the liver. Blood may appear in the urine and in the mouth as the gums start to bleed. The sudden onset of this type of disorder is life threatening and requires emergency medical treatment.