Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition in which blood clot forms in the deep veins such as lower leg, thigh or arm vein due decrease in the blood flow rate. This condition is dangerous when the clot breaks and travels to the lungs through the bloodstream that leads to a serious and life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.
What are the causes of DVT?
Injury to deep vein
Slowed blood flow
Inherited clotting disorder
Medications such as oral contraceptive pills
Who are at risk of developing DVT?
Standing/sitting in a place for long periods
Lack of physical activity
Pregnant or Lactating women
History of the following :
Peripheral vascular disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
Genetic conditions where Factor V Leiden is mutated
Neurological diseases like paralysis
What are the symptoms of DVT?
Swelling, pain or tenderness in the arm or leg
Warmth, redness or discolouration in the arm or leg
What are the complications of DVT?
Pulmonary embolism: Requires medical attention.
Symptoms include :
Shortness of breath
Chest pain or discomfort
Increased heart rate
Postphlebitic syndrome: Common complication after Deep Vein Thrombosis.
Pain or discomfort in legs
How is DVT diagnosed?
Blood test: to check for clotting factor
Ultrasound: to check for clots
Venogram: During this test, a contrast dye is injected into vein and X-rays are taken for observing the presence of clots.
How DVT is treated?
Blood thinners such as anticoagulants (Heparin, warfarin, enoxaparin or fondaparinux) to dissolve the clot.
In severe conditions of DVT, thrombolytic agents (streptokinase, urokinase, tissue plasminogen activator) prescribed for breaking the clots through a catheter (Catheter-directed thrombolysis).
Surgery to remove the clot
Precautions for DVT:
Avoid over the counter drugs
Avoid aspirin or NSAIDs during anticoagulant therapy
Avoid usage of estrogen supplements
Lifestyle Modifications for DVT:
Avoid standing or sitting for a long duration
Exercise daily to reduce the risk of developing clots