A Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot in a vein. Most often the blood clot is located in the legs but can be anywhere in the body. This condition can cause leg pain or swelling but can also be present it no symptoms. This condition will develop if you have certain medical conditions that effect your blood and its clotting process. Typically, it is seen if you are immobile for a long period of time, after surgery or an accident where your confined to a bed. Deep vein thrombosis should be treated as serious, there is a chance your clots can break loose and travel in the blood stream to a different location and block blood flow closer to your lungs or heart.
Symptoms of DVT
- Swelling will be present over the affected leg
- Pain in your leg, the pain may feel similar to a cramping sensation associate with soreness
- Red or discoloration around the skin
- A feeling of warmth in the effected leg
When to seek medical attention?
It is important to remember that DVT can occur without noticeable symptoms If your symptoms are anything similar to DVT you should consult with your doctor.
If you begin to develop any of the symptoms below you should seek medical attention immediately:
Warning signs of a pulmonary embolism:
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Chest pain or discomfort that worsens when you take a deep breath or with coughing
- Feeling of dizziness or lightheaded
- Rapid pulse
- Coughing up blood
Many factors can increase your risk of developing DVT the more of these you have the higher your risk is of developing the condition.
- Prolonged bed rest
After an injury or accident where you are confined to a bed your legs remain still for longer periods of time this means the muscles do not help to promote blood circulation round the body
Injury to your veins or surgery can increase the risk of blood clots
- Birth control/hormone replacement therapy
Both can increase the ability of your blood to clot
Those who are older that 60 are naturally at higher risk to DVT
Being overweight increases the pressure in the veins in the body
Smoking affects blood clotting and circulation
Treatment for DVT is normally aimed at reducing the risk of a clot getting bigger or, stopping the breakdown of a clot to avoid a pulmonary embolism. Following this the main goal is reducing the risk of it happening again.
- The most common type of treatment for DVT is the use of anticoagulants also known as blood thinners. These drugs that can either be injected or taken as pills decrease the ability of the blood to clot. They do not breakup existing blood clots but they will prevent clots from increasing in size or developing anymore.
- To help prevent swelling associated with DVT they’re generally worm o the legs between the ankle and the knee.