Fighting Blood Clots

on Mar 30, 2020

Have you ever wondered why we need to get up and move around from time to time while we fly or why a bedbound patient is more susceptible to venous thrombosis (blood clotting)? These issues of clotting are common in a variety of legal cases including pulmonary embolism cases and various stroke cases. Therefore, it is widely known that inactivity can lead to blood clotting and that these clots can lead to a number of dangerous results, but it is not so widely understood how ambulation (walking) can help prevent these complications.

That was precisely the issue in one case recently illustrated by Trial Exhibits. In this case, one medical expert wanted to explain exactly why ambulation helps to prevent clots as one factor involved in the natural mechanisms the body uses to keep clotting in check. This illustration was created to assist that testimony.


As you can see, we first created an illustration that gives an overall understanding of a blood clot. This illustration shows how red blood cells and platelets are trapped within a fibrin web causing them to clump together and form a clot. It is clear in this illustration that such a large clot would limit the flow of blood through this vessel.

Next, we illustrated two actions of nitric oxide a compound created by the body in response to ambulation. First, we showed how this nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator enlarging the blood vessel and increasing flow. Second, we showed how nitric oxide also deactivates platelets preventing them from clumping together inhibiting clot formation in the first place.

Finally, we took a moment to discuss plasmin. Plasmin is a natural clot-buster and this last illustration shows how plasmin, activated by ambulation, increases fibrinolysis breaking down the fibrin web that holds the clot together. All combined, the various panels in this exhibit provided this expert with the reference images she required to educate the jury as to why ambulation is so important in the postoperative recovery period.


If you need an illustration for your case feel free to browse our large library of stock illustrations and/or contact us to assist in the creation of a custom illustration.