What is Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

DVT is a condition where a blood clot develops in the deep veins of the body, usually in the legs. This causes pain, swelling, warmth and skin discolouration in the affected area. This occurs when there is lack of leg muscle movement, especially at times when the patient is bedridden for many days. DVT is a serious medical condition and requires prompt treatment. The chances of the thrombus getting dislodged which is called as ’embolism’ are high. This Embolism, especially pulmonary thromboembolism (PTE), is a life-threatening emergency.

Conditions that increase the risk of DVT are: 

  • Advancing age
  • History of recent surgery
  • Personal or family history of blood clots
  • Hormonal therapy
  • Oral contraceptives
  • Pregnancy

DVT can also lead to a post-thrombotic syndrome. This can lead to pain, the build-up of fluids, changes in skin color and formation of skin ulcers. DVT is usually treated with blood thinning medications which dissolve the clot. Graduated medical compression stockings of compression class 2 play a vital role in preventing pooling of blood and clotting. They also reduce the swelling in the leg and chances of post-thrombotic syndrome.

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