Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism

Deep vein thrombosis is a serious, potentially deadly condition that occurs when a blood clot forms within a deep vein in the thigh, lower leg, pelvis, or arm. DVT can lead to life-threatening complications if the blood clot breaks free and travels to the lungs, which is called pulmonary embolism (PE).

Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis can affect almost anyone, but your chances significantly increase after the age of 60. Keep in mind that both DVT and PE may not exhibit any symptoms whatsoever. However, you may have deep vein thrombosis if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:

  • Swelling in one or both of the legs
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both of the legs
  • Skin that is warm to the touch
  • Red or discolored skin
  • Tired or heavy feelings in the legs

Call your doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. It could save your life.

Symptoms of pulmonary embolism

When a blood clot within a deep vein breaks free and travels to the lungs, this is referred to as pulmonary embolism, which can be (and often is) deadly. Seek medical attention immediately or call 911 if you are experiencing:

  • Sudden coughing that brings up blood
  • Sharp chest pain
  • Fast breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe lightheadedness

Reducing your risk of DVT and PE

There are a few things you can do to significantly reduce your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. If you’ve recently had surgery, be sure you are taking your prescribed blood thinning or clot-preventing medications as directed. Avoid sitting still for long periods of time. If it’s safe to do so, get up and move as often as you can. When traveling by train or air, be sure to get up and move at least once every hour. And finally, be sure to protect your health by maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, and incorporating regular exercise into your daily routine.

For more information on blood clots and deep vein thrombosis, call the vein specialists at Total Vein Care today at (225) 245-3540 to schedule your appointment.

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