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Blood Clots are jelly-like masses of blood tissue formed by clotting (coagulating) factors in the blood. A blood clot is a normal reaction of the body that occurs if a blood vessel is injured. This is desirable if it occurs to stop the bleeding caused by an injury. However, blood clots can become very dangerous if they occur within the bloodstream. This can happen when plaque deposits in the blood vessel walls rupture and a blood clot forms. If this happens in an artery feeding the heart muscle, it can cause a heart attack. If it happens in an artery supplying blood to a part of the brain, it can cause a stroke. A blood clot in an artery is called an arterial thrombosis. A blood clot in the vein is called a venous thrombosis. When an arterial or venous thrombosis breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream, it is called an embolus. Blood clots also can form inside the atria (upper chambers of the heart) if blood isn’t pumped out completely and pools due to atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.
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