What to know about blood clots outside of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine

Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 7:27 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - The recent pause on Johnson and Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine due to the development of severe and in one case fatal blood clots, has brought a lot of attention to the disorder.

Some health experts say blood clots outside of the vaccine still pose a risk.

“Usually that is something causes severe shortness of breath anytime you have a clot in the leg it can cause severe leg pain and swelling. Those are definitely reasons to contact your primary care provider right away,” Dr. Brad Rash with Sentara RMH explained.

Dr. Rash says risk factors in developing blood clots include: age, physical inactivity, smoking habits and whether you take birth control.

He says while the blood clot occurrences are extremely rare with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, those occurrences were extremely rare and recommends not missing out on other vaccines available.

Dr. Cathy Slusher with Harrisonburg OBGYN says it is important to approach any health issue with an individualized approach.

“For instance, if you had a genetic propensity toward blood clots you may look at things very differently. That genetic propensity comes from when you know you’ve been tested because somebody else in your family close to you had this problem and they were positive for a coagulopathy. Dr. Slusher explained. “However if there is no such history and you’ve done well on say other medications that could have that tendency then you’ve got a greater security that you need to proceed and go forth and protect yourself.”

The Centers for Disease Control says that at least 900,000 people have blood clots in the veins or Venous Thromboembolism.

“Approximately five to eight percent of the U.S. population has one of several genetic risk factors, also known as inherited thrombophilias in which a genetic defect can be identified that increases the risk for thrombosis,” the CDC explains on their website.

To read more about blood clots, click here.

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