March is Blood Clot Awareness Month, a month dedicated to raising awareness about the impact of blood clots and their potentially fatal complication, pulmonary embolism. According to the National Blood Clot Alliance, nearly 80% of the general public is unaware of the life-threatening risk of blood clots, or the medical condition called deep vein thrombosis.
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Blood returns to the heart through veins. When the blood clumps together and turns into solid material, it is called a blood clot. When the clot is in the deep vein it is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which usually occur in the leg veins. This condition can quickly lead to pulmonary embolism (PE), a blood clot in the lung, which is life threatening.
Unfortunately, most people are unaware that they have deep vein thrombosis until they seek emergency treatment for a pulmonary embolism.
At Advanced Heart and Vein Center, we are committed to raising awareness of this common medical condition and helping patients understand their r
isk for blood clots. Our passionate physicians are here to help you survive, overcome or manage your blood clots.
Quick Facts About DVT
Here are a few quick facts about DVT/PE in oncology, according to the National Blood Clot Alliance:
- It is estimated that up to 600,000 people in the United States are affected by DVT/PE each year, and that up to 100,000 Americans die each year due to DVT/PE.
- 10% to 30% of people affected by DVT/PE will die within one month of diagnosis.
- In about 25% of people who experience a PE, the first “symptom” is sudden death.
- Among people who have had a DVT, one-third will have long-term complications, such as swelling, pain, discoloration, and scaling in the affected limb.
- One-third (about 33%) of people with DVT/PE will have a recurrence within 10 years.
What Causes DVT?
There are several factors that contribute to the development of DVT, including the following:
- Injuring a vein
- Taking hormones after menopause
- Being immobile
- Chronic health problems, such as heart disease, lungdisease, and inflammatory bowel disease
- Having a history of DVT
- Surgery, particularly surgery of the hip or leg
How is DVT Treated?
DVT can often be managed with blood thinners or special compression stockings. Blood thinners are the standard treatment for DVT and often include drugs such as heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), or one of the newer oral anticoagulants (Xarelto). Compression stockings may help prevent further clotting, reduce pain and swelling and developing post-thrombotic syndrome.
Other treatments may include:
- Thrombolytic Therapy
- Pharmaco-mechanical Thrombolysis
- Inferior Vena Cava Filter
- Clot Removal
Blood clots are preventable, and even treatable if detected early. At Advanced Heart and Vein Center, our highly skilled operations ensure to leave no clot behind. You can count on our team to give you the highest quality of care you deserve and a treatment plan tailored to your specific health needs. To request an appointment call us today at 720-772-8040.