Deep Vein Thrombosis

Are you inactive for long periods? You may be at risk for DVT.

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in one or more veins, usually in your legs. The clots are caused by anything that impedes the normal circulation or promotes clotting of your blood. DVT can be brought on by long sedentary periods, such as recovery from surgery or extended airplane flights. Certain medical conditions and medications can lead to DVT. And women who are pregnant or just gave birth are also at risk.

One danger of DVT is that a blood clot can break free and travel to your lungs, where it can block blood flow and cause serious respiratory issues and sometimes death.

DVT can occur at any age, but is more common after age 60, and more likely to develop if you smoke, use oral contraceptives, or have a family history of clotting disorder. With DVT, it is possible for a blood clot to migrate to your lungs and block a blood vessel there. If you experience shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, rapid pulse or are coughing up blood, seek immediate medical attention.

Treatment of DVT may include medication such as blood thinners, as well as the use of compression stockings. Exercise lowers your risk and is especially important if you sit or travel frequently.

Symptoms may include:
• Calf or thigh pain
• Skin redness
• Swelling
• Warmth and tenderness

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