Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) - Blood Clots in Deep Veins
Because of the life-threatening medical complications, you should contact your doctor immediately if you suspect that you have a DVT. The concern is that sometimes clots can break off and travel through the bloodstream. This is termed an embolism. Embolisms can reduce or block the flow of blood in a blood vessel. Depending on their location, an embolism can cause a stroke, lung damage, heart attack, or death. You should call the emergency medical services in your area, usually 911, if you are having a stroke or heart attack.
Am I at Risk
Risk factors may increase your likelihood of developing DVT, although some people that develop the condition do not have any risk factors. People with all of the risk factors may never develop DVT; however, the chance of developing the condition increases with the more risk factors you have. You should tell your doctor about your risk factors and discuss your concerns.
Risk factors for DVT:
_____ People with a history of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and blood clots have an increased risk of developing DVT.
_____ Prolonged inactivity, such as sitting, bed rest, immobilization, or paralysis increases the risk of blood clots.
_____ Recent surgery, particularly knee, hip, and gynecological surgery, is a risk factor for DVT.
_____ Bone fractures increases the risk of DVT.
_____ A female may have an increased risk of blood clotting after childbirth or miscarriage.
_____ Cigarette smoking increases the risk of DVT.
_____ Using birth control pills or estrogen pills increases the risk of DVT. Cigarette smoking and the use of birth control pills together can increase the risk even further.
_____ Hypercoagulability, a blood clotting condition, is associated with an increased risk of DVT.
_____ People with a history of polycythemia vera, a condition that causes excess red blood cell, white blood cell, and platelet production, have an increased risk for DVT.
_____ Some cancer tumors may increase the risk of DVT.
_____ Sitting in an airplane for several hours can increase the risk of DVT because of inactivity, the cabin pressure, low humidity, and dehydration. DVT development as a consequence of a plane ride is referred to as “economy-class syndrome” or “coach-class syndrome.”
_____ DVT occurs most frequently in people that are over the age of 60; however, it can occur at any age.
_____ High blood pressure is a risk factor for DVT.
_____ Obesity is a risk factor for DVT.
_____ People with hypercoagulability, a condition that increases the likelihood of blood clots, have an increased risk of developing DVTs.
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This information is intended for educational and informational purposes only. It should not be used in place of an individual consultation or examination or replace the advice of your health care professional and should not be relied upon to determine diagnosis or course of treatment.
The iHealthSpot patient education library was written collaboratively by the iHealthSpot editorial team which includes Senior Medical Authors Dr. Mary Car-Blanchard, OTD/OTR/L and Valerie K. Clark, and the following editorial advisors: Steve Meadows, MD, Ernie F. Soto, DDS, Ronald J. Glatzer, MD, Jonathan Rosenberg, MD, Christopher M. Nolte, MD, David Applebaum, MD, Jonathan M. Tarrash, MD, and Paula Soto, RN/BSN. This content complies with the HONcode standard for trustworthy health information. The library commenced development on September 1, 2005 with the latest update/addition on February 16, 2022. For information on iHealthSpot’s other services including medical website design, visit www.iHealthSpot.com.