DVT Awareness Month
March 9, 2016 | by The Polyclinic

Did you know that Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) kills more people than breast cancer and AIDS combined? The CDC estimates that up to 100,000 Americans die each year from DVT. DVT can affect people of all ages and activity levels from children to seniors. In recognition of DVT Awareness Month, we want you to know signs, symptoms and risk factors.

What is DVT/PE?

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that occurs deep in the veins, usually in the leg. If the clot breaks loose, it can travel to the lungs or brain causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal

What are the symptoms of DVT and PE?

For DVT, symptoms often occur in the leg and can include:

  • Swelling
  • Pain
  • Tenderness
  • Warmth
  • Redness

For PE, symptoms can include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing or coughing up blood.

If you experience symptoms of DVT/PE, contact your primary care physician as soon as possible.

DVT statistics

What are the risk factors of DVT/PE?

  • Restricted mobility
  • Obesity
  • Surgery
  • Varicose veins
  • Chronic lung disease
  • A prior history or family history of DVT or PE
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Smoking
  • Cancer
  • Traveling for a long distance

We can decrease the risk for a DVT/PE to a certain extent. Early mobilization (if bedridden), sequential compression devices, and/or anticoagulation medicines are some treatment options.