What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?
A DVT is simply a blood clot (thrombus) that has formed in a deep vein. Although a DVT can occur anywhere in your body, it usually forms in your leg. If a DVT breaks loose and travels to the lungs it is called a pulmonary embolism (PE). A pulmonary embolism is a very serious condition and often fatal. Diagnosis and treatment of a DVT is meant to prevent PE.
Blood is meant to flow through our bodies. When blood is not being pumped effectively it has a tendency to pool and can form a DVT. Awareness and education of the condition and its risk factors is the best prevention.
Who is at risk for DVT?
Some of the risk factors associated with DVT are recent surgery, sedentary occupations, history of DVT, smoking, being overweight, injury with long periods of immobility, age, travel, family history of blood clots and vein disease.
How can I tell if I have a DVT?
Unfortunately, DVT is a difficult condition to detect, and is often symptomless. If symptoms occur, they may include intense pain or cramping in the calves, tenderness, swelling, warmth or changes in skin color.
What is Post Thrombotic
Post Thrombotic Syndrome (PTS) is a long term
effect of a deep vein blood clot (DVT). After a while, this blood clot (usually in your
leg), can damage the vein wall and valves.
Damage to the vein can lead to more pressure
in the veins. The increased pressure can cause long-term problems such as fatigue
leg pain, heaviness, swelling, skin damage, and painful sores (ulcers)
near the ankle
Using Compression Therapy
An effective way to keep your legs healthy during long periods of being immobile such as air travel, injury or after surgery is wearing graduated compression stockings. Compression stockings exert a comfortable pressure on the outside of the leg to support the veins and vein valves which promote blood flow.
Chest Guidelines recommend compression stockings for reducing symptoms of Post Thrombotic
Syndrome such as leg pain, swelling and heaviness.