Deep vein thrombosis: Know the risks and the symptoms
According to National Blood Clot Alliance, 274 people in the United States die from deep vein thrombosis associated blood clots every day. Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a blood clot that forms in a vein located deep inside your body, most commonly the legs.
Some of the most common risk factors for developing DVT include:
- An inherited clotting disorder
- Surgery or injury
- Birth control or hormone replacement pills
- Prolonged bed rest
- Being age 60 or older
- Family history
- Prolonged travel history
Deep vein thrombosis can cause many different symptoms or may occur without any symptoms.
- Swelling (usually one leg)
- Cramping or soreness in the leg
If a blood clot is discovered, there are several treatment options available.
Treatment for blood clots include:
- Blood thinners
- Clot busters
- Compression stockings
Deep vein thrombosis is very serious and can lead to pulmonary embolism - blood clots breaking loose, traveling through the bloodstream and lodging in the lungs, blocking blood flow.
Symptoms of pulmonary embolism include:
- Sudden onset shortness of breath
- Chest pain that gets worse when you breathe deeply
- Feeling lightheaded or faint
- Coughing up blood
If you or a loved one have any of these warning signs/symptoms seek emergency care immediately.