Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when one or more blood clots form in large veins of the body, particularly in the calf or lower leg. Tenderness, swelling and pain may result if these clots partially or completely block the affected vein. A serious complication of DVT is pulmonary embolism (PE), whereby a portion of the DVT breaks off, travels throughout the bloodstream and ends up blocking an artery that carries blood to the lungs.

Although DVT produces no symptoms in many cases, always seek immediate medical care if you notice any of the following symptoms: swelling in one leg, swelling along a vein in the arm or leg, tenderness or pain in one limb, redness, warmth, or discoloration in one leg or arm. Symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, sharp chest pain, sweating, rapid heartbeat, dizziness, fainting, anxiety, or coughing up blood, which requires immediate medical help.

While blood clots can occur at any age to anyone, there are several risk factors that increase the incidence of deep vein thrombosis. Risk factors for DVT include age, obesity, being overweight, smoking, cancer, varicose veins and blood clotting disorders. Women are at a higher risk of DVT if they use birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy or are pregnant. Additionally, for every 10 year increase in age over the age of 50, the risk of developing deep vein thrombosis doubles.

In addition to the risk factors for DVT, there are certain common triggers that make you more prone to developing deep vein thrombosis. These triggers include major surgery, an extended hospital stay, long travel, being immobile in a nursing home, and pelvis, leg or hip fractures or trauma.

If you have any of the risk factors for DVT or are exposed to any of the common triggers, work with your Cartersville, GA doctor to reduce your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis.

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