Deep Vein Thrombosis
In this episode: A DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is a blood clot, typically in your calf or thigh. In most cases it feels like a calf strain but there is no obvious moment of injury. This can become a medical energy if the clot travels into your lungs, pulmonary embolism.
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Brief overview of the episode:
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a vain. Typically this occurs in the calf or thigh but can be anywhere in the body. The biggest risk with DVT is that is could dislodge from your leg and end up in the lungs resulting in a pulmonary embolism.
A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a life threatening situation and needs to be treated quickly. Most common signs of a PE are shortness of breath, light headed, dizzy, chest pain, rapid pulse, cough and possibly coughing up blood. If you suspect you may be dealing with a PE please go to the hospital immediately.
Signs of a DVT include calf pain, throbbing or cramping pain, high tenderness, swelling, pain with dorsiflexion (pull your foot up), at later stages visible redness and warm to the touch. If you suspect you may have a DVT go get an ultrasound at the hospital or almost any imaging center to confirm or rule out.
Typical treatment of DVT, once it has been confirmed, is anticoagulation therapy (blood thinners) and monitoring. The best way to manage a DVT is to prevent it in the first place.
This can be accomplished by not being inactive for too long. This typically means sitting and especially sitting on a plane for multiple hours at a time. DVT is more common post-surgical and that is why compression garments are used and exercises including ankle pumps, quad sets, heel slides, standing and walking are so important. Other risk factors include, smoking, obesity and clotting disorders.
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