WHAT IS DVT?

WHAT IS DEEP VEIN THROMBOSIS?

Before we dive into what DVT is, we should understand why we need to know. Plain and simple - DVT Affects Over 2 Million Americans. More Americans die from DVT than breast cancer. AIDS and traffic fatalities - combined.

Deep vein thrombosis (throm-BO-sis) is a blood clot that forms in a vein in the body.

Most deep vein blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. They also can occur in other parts of the body. A blood clot in a deep vein can break off and travel through the bloodstream. The loose clot is called an embolus (EM-bo-lus). It can travel to an artery in the lungs and block blood flow. This condition is called pulmonary embolism (PULL-mun-ary Em-bo-lizm), or PE. PE is a very serious condition. It can damage the lungs and other organs in the body and cause death.

BLOOD CLOTS IN THIGHS ARE MORE LIKELY TO BREAK OFF AND CAUSE PE THAN IN THE LOWER LEGS OR OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY.

Blood clots also can form in veins closer to the skin's surface. However, these clots won't break off and cause PE. Many factors determine your risk five to 10 days after surgery. With today's shorter hospital stays, that's most likely when you're recovering at home, away from the watchful eye of your health care providers. Therefore, it's vital that life-saving DVT prevention doesn't end at the time of discharge after surgery- but continues at the home throughout your most vulnerable days. Your physican can prescribe DVT prevention that you can use at home, including both mechanical and pharmacological prophylaxis.

Preventing a deep vein thrombosis is vital

About 350,000 Americans are diagnosed with DVT and pulmonary embolism each year, although it is estimated that some 300,000 more adults have undiagnosed DVT/PT. The condition has a 6%-12% mortality rate. If you're at risk, there is much you can do to prevent DVT.

DVT Prevention: Healthy Lifestyle and Regular Checkups

To lower your risk and help prevent DVT, take these steps:

  • Maintain an active lifestyle and exercise regularly-- daily, if possible, Walking, swimming and bicycling are all great activites.
  • Manage weight with exercise as well as by eating a healthy diet.
  • IF you smoke, quit! Nicotine therapy (in patches, gums, or sprays) and support group can make this much easier to do.
  • Get blood pressure checked regularly; take steps to lower it, if neccessary.
  • Report any family or personal history of blood clotting problems to your doctor.
  • Discuss alternatives to birth control pills or hormone-replacement therapy with your doctor.
  • If you are on an airplane for more than 4 hours, either walk or do leg stretches in your seat and also stay well-hydrated and avoid alcohol consumption.

NEED FOR PREVENTION AT HOME

Many factors determine your risk for DVT, but studies show you're at highest risk five to ten days after surgery. With today's shorter hospital stays, that's most likely when you're recovering at home, away from the watchful eye of your health care providers. Therefore, it's vital that life-saving DVT prevention doesn't end at the time of discharge after surgery- but continues at home throughout your most vulnerable days. Your physician can prescribe DVT prevention that you can use at home, including both mechanical and pharmacological prophylaxis.

WE'RE LEADING THE WAY IN DVT

We're here to help when it comes to DVT prevention. Too learn more about DVT please watch this video from the National Blood Clot Alliance

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