March is National Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month. Throughout the month the AVLS has been posting informative podcasts and articles to educate the general public about DVT and other vein disorders.
DVT is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, most commonly in the legs, causing partial or complete blockage of circulation.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), an estimated 300,000-600,000 Americans are affected by DVT each year. The CDC estimates that, every year, 60,000-100,000 people suffering from DVT die from complications of the condition.
The most serious complication of DVT is Pulmonary Embolism (PE), which occurs when a blood clot travels to the lungs through the blood stream. Depending on the size of the clot, PE can be fatal.
Major risk factors of DVT include:
Symptoms of DVT include:
Don’t worry! DVT is easily preventable in many instances.
A healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a well-balanced diet can decrease the risk of DVT due to obesity and immobility.
Visit your doctor routinely and report any family history of vein disease. Your physician can take preventative measures when prescribing certain hormonal medications and catch signs of DVT in its early stages through monitoring your overall health.
If you are going to be immobile for long periods of time, such as during long flights or car rides, be sure to move around and stretch regularly throughout. Consider wearing compression gradient hosiery during periods of immobility.
Anti-coagulants, which thin the blood, can be taken or injected to treat clots in the vein. Another way of treating DVT is through the use of graduated compression stockings, which will greatly reduce the likelihood of chronic swelling and pain in the leg.
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