Because March is Deep Vein Thrombosis Month, Dr. Michael Traurig and Vein Centers for Excellence of Greenville want you to know the facts.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot develops in a vein deep within your body. These types of DVT clots typically develop in your lower legs or your thighs, but may appear in your arms or other locations in your body.
Deep vein thrombosis can pose a serious threat to your health. Pieces of a clot can break off and travel through the bloodstream to the lungs. This pulmonary embolism can be fatal soon after it occurs.
In your veins, DVT can also block blood flow, causing the blood to pool, with swelling, pain, and permanent damage to your leg. This is known as post-thrombolic syndrome.
Some Facts About DVT
- On average, 274 people die every day from blood clots. (Source: https://www.stoptheclot.org/)
- Blood clots (DVT and pulmonary embolisms):
– Affect upwards of 600,000 Americans each year and cause more deaths each year than the more well-publicized conditions of breast cancer, AIDS, and motor vehicle accidents.
– Are a leading cause of preventable hospital deaths in the United States.
– Are the leading cause of maternal death in the United States.
– Will cause long-term complications in one-half of people and one-third will have a recurrence within 10 years. (Source: http://www.clotconnect.org)
What Causes DVT?
There are a variety of factors that contribute to the development of DVT:
- Surgery, particularly surgery of the hip or leg, or abdominal surgery
- A long period of bed rest or sitting for a long time (ex: on an airplane or in a car)
- Birth control pills or hormones taken for symptoms of menopause
- Certain diseases and conditions, such as:
– Varicose veins
– Chronic atrial fibrillation
– Inflammatory bowel disease
– Lupus erythematosus, a disease of the immune system
– Heart failure
– Heart attack
– Arterial disease
– Spinal cord injury and resulting paralysis
– Previous blood clot (thrombosis)
– Intensive care treatment involving placement of a central venous catheter
What Are The Symptoms of DVT?
DVT occurs without symptoms about 50% of the time. When symptoms do occur, they may include:
- Swelling in the leg
- Red, discolored, or white skin
- A cord in a leg vein that can be felt
- Rapid heart beat (tachycardia)
- Slight fever
- Warm skin
- More visible surface veins
- A dull ache, tightness, tenderness or pain in the leg (these symptoms may only occur while walking or standing)
Any of these DVT symptoms may resemble other medical conditions or problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis or call Vein Centers for Excellence of Greenville at 864-235-9008.