Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in legs and require immediate medical care. These clots can be very dangerous as they may break free and travel through the bloodstream to the lungs and block the flow of blood in the lungs. It can also damage the vein and cause the leg ache, swelling and change in color. It is very common with over one million cases per year. They often underdiagnosed and serious. So this international day of Deep Vein Thrombosis (October 13) , here’s everything you need to absolutely know about DVT.
1. CauseClots are usually formed when one is paralyzed or bedridden for a long trip. Cancer also causes DVT. Age too plays a huge role in causing DVT. The more older an individual get, higher are the chances of developing DVT.
2. SymptomsSwelling of the affected leg, warm and redder legs and tender calf muscle are usually the symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis. The symptoms also include
● Difficulty in breathing
● Irregular heart beat or faster than normal
● Extremely low blood pressure or lightheadness
● Coughing up blood
● Chest pain
3. DiagnosisTo test for DVT, your doctor is likely to suggest an ultrasound test to measure the flow of blood through your veins and identify the clots that block the flow.
4. TreatmentUsually involves taking blood thinners for at least three months to prevent the existing clots from further growth. Your doctor may also recommend you to elevate your leg when possible and wear compression stockings and relieves pain and swelling. They may have to be worn for 2 years or more. In worst cases, the clot might have to be removed surgically.
5. PreventionIf you are sitting for a long time , like during a long flight or car trip, you can exercise your legs often to help blood flow and thus reducing your chances at Deep Vein Thrombosis. Also, wear loose-fitting clothes while travelling for long duration.
6. Risk FactorsThe following list increase your risks of developing DVT:
● Injury to the vein often caused by fracture or major surgery (especially involving abdomen/pelvis/hip/legs)
● Slow blood flow often caused by confinement to bed typically after a surgery or due to a medical condition or sometimes due to limited movement (perhaps a cast on leg)
● Increased estrogen caused by birth control pills
Family history of DVT