Deep vein thrombosis is a health condition whereby there is a blood clot in one of the deep veins in the leg. If left untreated, the blood clot may dislodge and travel through the bloodstream to the lungs, where it may get stuck and block the blood flow. This will lead to a life-threatening condition called pulmonary embolism.
What is the cause?
Injury, surgery, long periods of sitting or lying down will slow down the blood flow through the deep veins and cause deep vein thrombosis. Therefore, deep vein thrombosis has always been associated with hospitalisation and long-haul travel.
What are the risk factors?
- Having blood clotting disorder
- On oral contraceptive medication
- On hormone therapy
What are the symptoms?
One will experience swelling, pain and tenderness in the leg.
How is it treated?
The doctor will prescribe anticoagulant medicine such as warfarin to stop the blood from clotting more while the body breaks down the existing clot. While on the anticoagulant medicine, the patient will need to go for regular blood tests to see if it is working. The doctor may change the dosage or the medicine if it is not working or the patient is experiencing side effects. The patient will also need to be careful about his or her diet and check with the doctor before starting on the medication.
- Drink more water, avoid drinking too much coffee or alcohol
- Wear compression stockings
- Avoid sitting or lying in bed for long period of time
- Walk as often