Thrombolysis targets to dissolve the clot at the affected organ (heart, lungs, etc). However as the “clot busters” circulate throughout the body any other smaller or hidden clots within the body will also dissolve and bleeding will occur. Bleeding can occur from any puncture wounds on the skin that have been used to insert IVs, or any other fresh wound or injury site. Spontaneous bleeding can also develop:
- Bloody stools
- Brain bleed (stroke)
Approximately 5% of the treated patients will have a major bleed, while the risk of stroke is roughly 1%. If any of these happen the treatment will stop immediately.
Another possible risk is embolization. As the clot softens and dissolves, small pieces may break loose an travel deeper in the affected organ (e.g leg, lungs worsening the symptoms.