Sunday, September 24, 2023

How to Catch Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in Time?

Seek medical help if you spot any of the symptoms of DVT. It is not a condition that can be managed without a doctor's expert supervision.


If you notice any of these symptoms, seek immediate help for DVT:

  • Redness, warmth, pain, swelling, or tenderness, especially in one calf or thigh;
  • Red, discoloured, or warm skin, at the back of the leg usually below the knee;
  • Swollen veins that are hard when touched;
  • Throbbing pain in one calf or thigh when standing up or walking; and
  • Severe, unexplained pain in the foot or ankle.

The Science

When a blood clot is formed in a vein deep in the body, the condition is called Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT).

  • If a vein gets injured or the blood pools inside it, a clot can form, blocking the blood flow partially or entirely through the vein.
  • DVT usually happens in larger veins inside the thigh or calf, and almost always, only one side is affected. Less frequently, DVT may form in an arm, liver, or brain.
  • DVT itself is not life-threatening, but if the clot breaks off, travels through the bloodstream and lodges in the lung artery, you can get a serious complication called pulmonary embolism (PE), which needs emergency management.
  • Blood clots can also form in small veins near the skin surface. But the risk of them flowing to the lungs is minimal. So DVT refers only to deep veins in the body.

DVT Symptoms

  • Pain and swelling in the leg or arm, chest pain or breathlessness.
  • Pain in leg or arm when standing or walking.
  • Red and warm skin near the area of the clot.
  • Stomach pain, if the clot is in a deep abdominal vein
  • Unexplained chest pain or breathlessness if the clot has moved to the lung artery.
  • Sudden and severe headaches or seizures if the clot is in the brain vein.

Risk Factors for DVT

  • Old age (over 60 years), obesity, and smoking.
  • If an injury or surgery reduces blood flow through a deep vein, DVT chances in that area increase.
  • If one has reduced mobility being bedridden for an extended period, sitting or standing for too long on a long flight or office desk, the blood may pool, causing DVT.

Unfortunately, thirty to forty per cent of the patients don’t notice any symptoms before developing PE. So if you have any risk factors for DVT, be extra alert.

Do not ignore possible DVT symptoms. It is not a condition that will heal on its own without proper medical treatment.

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First Published on: 22nd April 2023
Image Credit: wavebreakmedia_micro on Freepik


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