What is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a deep vein. A clot inside a blood vessel is called a thrombosis. DVTs predominantly occur in the legs and may have no symptoms. The non-specific signs of DVT include pain, swelling, redness, warmness, and engorged superficial veins in the leg. A DVT may go away naturally, but the most serious complication is when a thrombosis dislodges and travels to the lungs to become a life-threatening pulmonary embolism. DVT and PE are the two manifestations of the disease venous thromboembolism. A late complication of DVT is the post-thrombotic syndrome, which can manifest itself as edema, pain or discomfort and skin problems. About 1 in a 1000 adults develop a DVT annually.
In addition to anti-coagulation treatment, graduated compression stockings which apply higher pressure at the ankles and a lower pressure around the knees are recommended for those with DVT symptoms.
Dangerous factors related to DVT?
Besides the inherited factors, there are many other factors that causes DVT:
- Older age
- Major surgery and orthopedic surgery, cancers
- Immobilization, as in orthopedic casts the sitting position, and travel, particularly by air
- Pregnancy and the postpartum period
- Hormonal replacement therapy
- Central venous catheters
- Some auto immune diseases
- Nephrotic syndrome
- Polycythemia vera
How to prevent DVT?
Remember to move your body on your long flight.
Wear loose clothes and of course compression stockings.