Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein located deep inside your body. A blood clot is a clump of blood that is in a gelatinous, solid state. Deep vein blood clots typically form in your thigh or lower leg, but they can also develop in other areas of your body.
Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a life threatening condition in which blood clot or thrombosis is developed in deep veins and cause blockage. This is mostly formed in lower extremities such as foot and calf areas.
The blood clot is caused by blood pooling, which triggers the clotting and damage the valves in blood vessels. DVT occurs with the lack of movement when travelling in plane or when bed ridden for a longer period or due to injury. This is more common in men than women over the age of 40.
Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis(DVT)
- Swelling of the leg or along a vein in the leg
- Pain or tenderness in the leg, which you may feel only when standing or walking
- Increased warmth in the area of the leg that’s swollen or in pain
- Red or discolored skin on the leg
Lift your affected leg and rotate your foot. You will feel the pain.This is a typical sign of Deep Vein Thrombosis. Swelling or softness in the legs, post injury, surgery or extended bed rest. When the affected area is touched, it may be painful.
Itchy feeling or pain, when you are walking with affected leg. Pain aggravates when you are keeping a weight on the swollen area and does not subside even after it is removed. The tender area appears warm and red.
The warmness is due to blood pooling can be felt with the hands.Pain or tenderness in the leg, which is felt only when standing or walking. Tiredness of legs. Surface veins seen obviously.
Cramping of legs especially in night. Worsening leg pain when bending the foot. Bluish or whitish discoloration of skin. Women are at a greater risk of deep vein thrombosis during pregnancy and postpartum period (the first few months after the birth of baby), since hormonal and other major changes occur during this period. PE is one of the major reason for the death of pregnant women.
It is difficult to identify that a person is affected by deep vein thrombosis, since its symptoms are identical with the other problems. If deep-vein thrombosis is not diagnosed or treated properly, blood clot travels to important body parts like lungs and heart.
The clot not only blocks the flow of blood but also causes lack of oxygen in the affected areas which leads to irreversible damage. It is very unfortunate that the preliminary signs of deep vein thrombosis are witnessed only after it is developed into Pulmonary Embolism.
Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
The blood clot in deep vein breaks off, enters the circulatory system and travels to lungs, heart and other important organs. This hinders the flow of blood and causes deficiency of oxygen in the affected area. This is called as Pulmonary Embolism (PE). This is the end result of DVT. This is a potentially fatal condition.
Symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
Difficulty in breathing, fast breathing and heart beat, pricking chest pain, soreness when attempting deep breath, blood coughing. Therefore, it is very important to note the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism and get the problem treated at the initial stage.
It can be difficult to diagnose DVT from symptoms alone, so your GP may advise that you have a specialised blood test called a D-dimer test.
This test detects pieces of blood clot that have been broken down and are loose in your bloodstream. The larger the number of fragments found, the more likely it is that you have a blood clot in your vein.
However, the D-dimer test isn’t always reliable because blood clot fragments can increase after an operation, injury or during pregnancy. Additional tests, such as an ultrasound scan, will need to be carried out to confirm DVT.
A venogram may be used if the results of a D-dimer test and ultrasound scan can’t confirm a diagnosis of DVT.
During a venogram, a liquid called a contrast dye is injected into a vein in your foot. The dye travels up the leg and can be detected by X-ray, which will highlight a gap in the blood vessel where a clot is stopping the flow of blood.
Your doctor might prescribe medications that thin your blood, such as heparin and warfarin. This makes it harder for your blood to clot. It also keeps existing clots as small as possible and decreases the chance that you’ll develop more clots.
If blood thinners don’t work or if you have a severe case of DVT, your doctor might use thrombolytic drugs. Thrombolytic drugs work by breaking up clots. You’ll receive these intravenously.
His is the most common test for diagnosing deep vein blood clots. Ultrasound uses sound waves to create pictures of blood flowing through the arteries and veins in the affected leg.