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Alan Rodney, M.D., is board-certified in medical oncology and hematology. He received his B.S. from Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana, graduating with Magna Cum Laude honors.

He completed his internship and residency for internal medicine at Louisiana State University School of Medicine in May 2000, prior to a hematology/oncology fellowship at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

He practices in the Houston suburbs of Pearland and Clear Lake, caring for patients at Texas Oncology, affiliated with The US Oncology Network. He completed a combined fellowship in medical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center and hematology at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dr. Rodney wants to raise awareness about the risks of blood clots in the African-American community. Here is a story about NBA star Chris Bosh, who was diagnosed with blood clots earlier this season.

Dr. Rodney answers your questions here:

Do blood clots cause pain? Can you feel them move?

Blood clots in the extremities (arms/legs) can have associated pain or painless with only association of swelling (edema) of affected arm or leg.

What are the signs and symptoms of blood clots?

Signs of blood clots in extremities (deep vein thrombosis) may include edema (swelling) of affected extremity or pain at the location of thrombus. These findings are nonspecific until evaluated.

Are blood clots associated with aneurysms?

Blood clots discussed are noted to initiate in veins – deep venous thrombosis with risk for pulmonary embolism to the lungs.  Aneurysm of arteries would not clearly be a frequent association.

I have protein S deficiency and survived 2 PEs. I was told my grandfather’s brother also had blood disorders. Could this be hereditary?

Protein S or similar protein C disorder could be correlated for genetic inheritance. Confirm that the protein S level is not simply reflecting the artifact of decline noted if patient is already on Coumadin while measuring the blood level.

Does swelling in primarily one limb cause pitting or non-pitting edema?

Edema in a single extremity could be evaluated immediately whenever concern exists or an obvious etiology (cause) is not known.

My brother died from a blood clot after his leg being in a cast for 5 weeks. My question is should doctors automatically put you on blood thinners when you’re in a cast?

Interestingly, no recommendation exists to place every patient in a cast on a blood thinner, but it is a risk factor for blood clot, both due to risks including suggested frequent history of preceding trauma and immobilization, particularly when it exists across a joint.

Good morning TJMS! If my mother and maternal grandmother both suffered from blood clots in the lungs and both passed from complications am I at risk?

Thrombophilias (clots) are often screened with a panel of blood tests or individual selected study for patients with no clear etiology of blood clot, particularly with recurrent events or significant family history. These are mostly genetic predispositions to blood clotting.

Can you explain why some blood thinners can be a problem if you eat a lot of green, leafy vegetables?

Green leafy vegetables contain vitamin K. These and other sources of vitamin K (MVI and supplements) should be minimized or kept limited for patients trying to use Coumadin for an oral anticoagulant (blood thinner).  Vitamin K counteracts the anticoagulation benefit of Coumadin,

I have what looks like puffy swelling in my legs. Could this be a sign of blood clot?

Puffy swelling in both legs that is chronic (not a recent finding) could result from various diagnoses, including a condition named chronic venous insufficiency, CHF, notable renal or liver disease with difficulty balancing fluid.

In my right leg, below my knee, I have protruding, large varicose veins. Can that add to blood clots risk?

Superficial vein thrombosis could conceivably occur that does not carry the associated life-threatening risks for pulmonary embolism noted with DVT.

What is the best way to keep blood flowing in legs when you drive trucks cross country?

Walking and stretching outside the truck every 2-3 hours for at least a few minutes clearly would have the consistent evidence for benefit.

How can you find out if you have blood clots or are at risk for a blood clot problem?

You would discuss your complaints and risk factors with your physician or health care provider. Doppler venous u/s evaluation is used to assess the extremity of concern possibly with a D dimer lab correlation. Pulmonary emboli are diagnosed either with CT scan of chest or V/Q (ventilation/perfusion) scan assessment.

Are patients who test high on d dimer all the time at a higher risk for blood clots?

 It would be reasonable to inquire from your doctor of the explanation for D dimer results.

What can I do other than exercise to keep from having another blood clot I am diabetic (mild case)?

Obesity management and avoiding smoking are beneficial, along with walking and stretching. Communication with your doctor to review all of your risk factors for venous thrombosis (blood clot) and confirmation of low dose prophylactic (preventative dose) medications such as heparin, enoxaparin or fragmin injections.

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One thought on “Get Well Wednesday: Dr. Rodney Answers Your Questions About Blood Clots And More

  1. Hey Doc I’m a diabetic experiencing headaches on the left side of my head and I cough up mucus that has blood in it. I noticed this after one day I went jogging and the next morning I woke up with a blood vessel burst in my eyes could this all be caused by a blood clot

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