Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

A thrombus is a blood clot which has formed inside the blood vessel.  Thrombosis is the process of clotting or the presence of a clot.  At times, this is a normal process, such as when you cut yourself and the blood coagulates or clots to control the bleeding.  However when this occurs in the veins deep inside the body, the clot prevents blood from flowing and creates a serious, at times, life-threatening condition.

Who is at risk for DVT?

  • Clotting problems are either genetic, meaning if someone in your family had problems with blood clots; you may be more likely to have similar problems. 
  • Abnormal, problematic clotting can also happen as a secondary condition, for example in those with cancer, or after an injury or sometimes, with medications such as birth control.

Symptoms of DVT

  • Leg pain, especially in the calf or muscle of the affected limb
  • Swelling, redness and warmth of the area affected
  • A simple test called an ultrasound may be ordered to detect problems with your blood flow.
  • A pulmonary embolism (PE) can occur when a clot dislodges and is trapped in the lung.
    Sudden onset of shortness of breath, coughing up blood and sharp chest pain may be experienced with a pulmonary embolism. 
    This is a medical emergency.  Call 911 if these symptoms are present in you or a loved one now!

Risks associated with having DVT

  • Deep vein clots can cause disability, pain and swelling.
  • A syndrome caused post-thrombotic syndrome can cause lasting problems with swelling and at times skin ulcers.

For more information

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