Deep vein thrombosis is a condition when there is a formation of one or more blood clots in the deep veins. The blood clot is formed usually in a big vein in the muscle, mostly legs or pelvis. The formation of a clot is not harmful by itself. However, there is a risk of getting loose, and come to the heart through the blood circulation. If the blood clot gets stuck in a vessel supplying lungs, pulmonary embolism may occur, which is a life-threatening condition.
It occurs most frequently in persons over 40 and older.
The cause of deep vein thrombosis is usually a combination of slow blood circulation through the vein, increase of natural inclination to blood clotting, and damages to the vein walls.
Blood circulation may be slowed due to several factors and thus increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis. These are:
- long journeys
- tumour (pressing the veins)
- leg injuries
- combination f oral contraceptives
- hormone therapy
The symptoms of deep vein thrombosis occur when a blood clot forms in the vein. These are:
- pain or sensitivity felt in the leg
- swollen lower part of the leg or the thigh
- enlarged vein under the skin
Pulmonary embolism may occur in rare cases, with the following symptoms:
- shortness of breath
- chest pain, especially with inhaling
In some cases, thrombosis may cause permanent damage to the veins an enlarged veins may appear.
The risk factors of deep vein thrombosis are:
- long-term immobility
- long journeys (by plane, car)
- inherited disorder
- injury or surgery
- birth control pills
- hormone replacement therapy
- inflammatory bowel disease
The complications from deep vein thrombosis are serious. These can be:
- pulmonary embolism
- postphlebitic syndrome
The prevention of deep vein thrombosis is to change positions frequently, do exercises, do not sit for long hours, and use medications as prescribed.