Why You Should Take Deep Vein Thrombosis Seriously

Why You Should Take Deep Vein Thrombosis Seriously

Why You Should Take Deep Vein Thrombosis Seriously

Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition where a blood clot develops in a deep vein, and often in the lower extremities. It’s critical that you learn the signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis and the life-threatening complications that can occur.

Signs and symptoms

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should seek prompt medical care:

  • Swelling in one foot, ankle or leg
  • Chronic or recurring cramp in one leg, most often in the calf
  • Severe, unexplainable pain in the foot or ankle
  • Skin on one part of the leg has red or blue discoloration
  • An area of skin feels warm to the touch compared to other areas of the skin

Causes

Certain medications may lead to a blood clot. A blood clot in a deep vein may be caused by a complication from surgery. Bed rest after surgery has a risk of DVT due to lack of movement. Wearing compression socks or leggings will help keep blood moving properly through the veins.

If you have a sedentary lifestyle and sit for long periods of time, blood may pool in the legs and lead to clot formation. If you injury your leg, it can cause a narrowing in a blood vessel or damage to a vessel wall, leading to a blood clot.

Risk factors

If you are over the age of 50, you have the highest risk of deep vein thrombosis. Other contributing risk factors include a family history of clotting disorders, severe injury that caused vein damage, taking hormonal birth control, smoking, being overweight, sitting for long periods of time, heart failure or having a catheter in a vein.

Why it’s dangerous

If the clot from deep vein thrombosis dislodges from an arm or the leg and makes its way to the lung, becoming stuck in a small artery, you face a life-threatening condition known as pulmonary embolism. This blockage requires emergency care, and signs include a rapid heart rate, chest pain that worsens with deep inhales or coughing, dizziness, sweating, rapid breathing or coughing up blood.

Prevention

Moving frequently, keeping your blood pressure in check and avoiding smoking are recommended lifestyle changes that can help prevent deep vein thrombosis.

Treatment options

Seek immediate medical care if you think you may have deep vein thrombosis. You may need blood thinners to prevent clot formation, surgery to remove a clot or prevent a clot from entering the lungs, and compression stockings to prevent poor circulation after surgery.