Deep Vein Thrombosis (also known as DVT) occurs when a blood clot is formed in a vein deep inside the body. It is a common medical condition that is under-diagnosed.
According to a research done by the American Public Health Association (APHA) in 2003, almost three-quarter (74 percent) of American adults have little or no awareness of DVT; among those who are aware of such condition, more than half (57 percent) were unable to identify any common risk factors or pre-existing conditions that could lead to the development of DVT. In general, 95 percent of the respondents expressed that their doctors never discussed about this medical condition with them.
DVT, if left unnoticed and untreated, can be fatal. The blood clot can break off in the travel in the bloodstream to the arteries in the lungs and block off blood circulation, causing damage to the lungs and other organs.
WHO IS AT RISK?
The risk of getting DVT is subjected to three main factors:
- Inactivity/Prolonged Immobility – People who are undergoing operations, long recovery time after operations or from fractures, long haul flights or having lifestyles that do not have much leg activity. Stagnant blood in the veins will tend to form clots.
- Clotting factor disorder – People who are born with thicker blood (which tends to clot easily) or people who are under medications such as contraceptive.
- Damaged veins
Anyone who falls under any of these three categories could be at risk of DVT.
SYMPTOMS OF DVT
If your leg suddenly becomes swollen or experience pain in your calves, please consult your doctor immediately.
DVT PREVENTION AND TREATMENT
There are several ways to prevent DVT:
- Wear compression stockings whenever you are undergoing long hours of inactivity or taking a flight that is more than 3 hours.
- If you have suffered from DVT before, do consult your doctor and get yourself an anticoagulant medication before you embark on your flight.
If you suspect that you are in risk of DVT, you can always come to The Vein Clinic and arrange for a DVT scan with Dr. John Tan. The 15-30mins scan is all it takes to find out if you are at risk.
Also, if you tend to travel a lot, investing in a good pair of compression stockings can play a big part in DVT prevention. Compression stockings and anticoagulant medications can be purchased from The Vein Clinic upon your consultation with Dr. John Tan.
Staff of THE VEIN CLINIC & SURGERY
American Public Health Association (2003) "DEEP-VEIN THROMBOSIS: ADVANCING AWARENESS TO PROTECT PATIENT LIVES" Published in 26 February 2003 Retrieved from http://www.apha.org/NR/rdonlyres/A209F84A-7C0E-4761-9ECF-61D22E1E11F7/0/DVT_White_Paper.pdf on 5 April 2012