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DVT: The Silent Killer

DVT or Deep Vein Thrombosis is a disease which most people have not heard about, but is rapidly increasing its hold in the world today. It is important to know about it, because it is a deadly disease which is very much treatable if caught as soon as possible. It can cause Permanent or Temporary Disability and even Death depending on the extent of its development in the body. And even worse, it develops so fast that before a person can suspect that it is a serious problem, it reaches an advanced state and the person may die within a few days.


What is DVT?

So, the first question one might ask is that what exactly is DVT? It is a blood clot which blocks the deep veins in the body. The problem that it causes is that blood cannot flow through these veins and there is pain, swelling, tenderness in the affected area, generally the leg and sometimes, the arm.

Further complications arise when these blood clots travel through these veins to reach internal organs like Heart, Lungs etc. This will result in organ failure and ultimately Death. The time which these clots take to travel is relatively fast and by the time the person considers the mild pain to be a serious problem, it might be too late. The condition in which the clots travel to internal organs is known as Pulmonary Embolism (PE).



Causes of DVT

There are several factors which contribute to the onset of DVT. Some of them are:

  1. Previous case of DVT/PE

  2. Bed rest

  3. Post Surgery

  4. Pregnancy and 3 months after Delivery

  5. Major Trauma affecting nerves and Veins

  6. Varicose veins

  7. Chemotherapy and/or Cancer

  8. Birth control pills

  9. Hormone replacement Therapy


Symptoms of DVT

Sometimes, people may have no symptom of DVT at all. But, those who do, may experience the following symptoms:

  1. Swelling and pain in the affected area

  2. Tender and red skin

  3. Breathing difficulty

  4. Irregular or faster than normal Heartbeat

  5. Chest pains

  6. Lightheadedness or fainting spells

points 3 to 6 represents symptoms of PE, when the DVT expands further to the internal organs of the body. Points 1,2,3 are the symptoms of DVT.


Treatment of DVT

DVT can be treated once it is found out successfully. For that, specific tests have to be done in order to find out if DVT is present or not. Your doctor will prescribe these tests if he suspects DVT. A person should keep aware of the symptoms of DVT and seek medical help immediately if suspected.

The treatment of DVT, is simply managed once found out at the right time. A person has to take medications prescribed by the doctor known as Anti-Coagulants or Blood Thinners. The duration of these medications depend on the severity of the DVT episode. It may range from several months to your entire lifetime as well. If the Thrombus is large and more serious, it may need to be operated upon and removed. Once a person has DVT, he becomes prone to another episode later in his life. Special stockings called Compression Stockings are sometimes prescribed to be worn to the patient to prevent swelling and pain in the affected area.


Prevention of DVT

prevention of DVT can be done by taking care of a few things:

  1. After a surgery or where you have been prescribed bed rest, start movement gradually to avoid blood coagulating in your body, as soon as you are able and as much as you can do.

  2. Care has to be taken to start moving after giving birth to a baby because increased Estrogen levels are also a factor to induce DVT in females.

  3. When sitting for long periods of time, be sure to take a walk after certain intervals or exercise to keep the blood flowing in your legs.


In Retrospect

Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism are both a rare form of arterial diseases. It is quite easy to develop with a sedentary lifestyle, after a major surgery or trauma, during and after pregnancy, sometimes old age is also a factor. Its symptoms are common and quite easy to confuse with any other disease but develop very rapidly and can cause temporary or permanent disability and even death.

It can be easily managed medically, given that it is identified timely.


Thats all for now!

Thanks for Reading..



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