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Blood clots

Blood clots form in order to prevent us from losing all of our blood when we get a cut or are injured. You know the drill, you fall and scrape your knee, it starts to bleed, but then it stops, scabbing over and healing in the matter of a week or two - this is due to platelets and chemicals in the blood that form the protective covering and close off the blood vessels that were damaged. This is a necessary body function for survival.

But what can save you can also kill you. All it takes is one good bump or bruise and/or staying in a seated position for a longer amount of time than usual to get a clot. This dangerous form of blood clot is called a thrombus, and it can cut off circulation to any part of the body depending on which blood vessel it forms in. The deadly version of this is an embolus (plural, emboli). These clots travel through the circulatory system, and if it lodges in the heart, it leads to near immediate death. Lodging in the lungs (pulmonary embolus) has a somewhat less dark end - though it's still deadly within a few hours or due to a second embolus.

Your body hates you so much that one of its most necessary repair mechanisms can kill you.

Related disorder: deep vein thrombosis 

Gross fact: The incidence of pulmonary emboli is 1 per every 1000 Americans each year (i.e. 0.1 percent of people experience an embolus to the lungs every year). It's  the second most common form of sudden death, behind sudden cardiac arrest. 

The video below is from 1000 ways to die, if it doesn't load, see a clip about a blood clot killing a marathon gamer by clicking here.

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