Lowering the Danger of Blood Clots
Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in a large vein, most often in the lower leg, thigh, pelvis, or arm. The clot can not only cause temporary or permanent damage in the vein where it forms, but there is another risk of it breaking free. Once free, it can travel through the bloodstream and enter the lungs, which can result in a pulmonary embolism, an arterial blockage that can be fatal.
The risk of clots developing increases in those who are obese, who take certain medications, and who have a family history of clots. Pregnancy, smoking, and some cancer treatments raise the risk as well, and the condition is more common in our later years.
Immobility also raises the risk. When a person is confined to a seat or a bed for a long time, such as after surgery or an illness, or even a long-distance plane trip, can all increase risk. Studies have even shown that video gamers, no matter how old, are susceptible to deep vein thrombosis as well.
Almost a million people in the United States yearly will have blood clots, and it will prove fatal for one in ten of them. The good news is that if treatment is begun promptly, patients can often avoid permanent damage.
Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis can include swelling, pain, tenderness and redness of the skin in the area of the clot. The feeling is sometimes described as a sensation like the muscle is being pulled. See your doctor right away if you experience these symptoms. Blood clots will not clear up on their own, but treatment can prevent damage.