Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis:  Research shows thatDeep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot (Thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body, usually in the legs

Some causes:  Deep vein thrombosis can sometimes happen for no reason but normally there is an increase in developing a DVT if you have 1 or more of these listed below:

  • If you are Hospitalised and have an operation that takes longer than 90 minutes or 60 minutes if the operation is on the leg, hip or abdomen
  • If you become confined to bed, unable to walk and/or spend large parts of the day in a chair or bed for at least 3 days or more
  • You are having an operation for an inflammatory or abdominal condition

Inactivity can also cause DVT through the blood ‘pooling’ in the lower body.  Runners can get this ‘pooling’ if they have to stop and waitand don’t keep their legs and feet moving, however when they start to run again the flow of the blood will start again stopping the risk of DVT.

Damage to the blood vessels – If the blood vessel is damaged by an injury to either the muscle or the bone this will possibly result in a blood clot.  The blood clot occurs due to the narrowing or complete blockage of the blood vessel.  Occasionally after surgery in the lower half of the body, blood clots will appear.  You can suffer with a blood clot when anything prevents your blood circulation from flowing normally

Being overweight or obese can also increase the risk as does smoking.  All these affect how the blood clots and circulation too, increasing the risk of a DVT.  Sitting with legs crossed or in the same position without moving – air flight – can also cause blood restriction, resulting in a DVT.  Advice to prevent this happening is to keep moving your ankles in a circular motion and move about during the flight.  DVT is thought to be more prone in long haul flights due to longer time stationary. Having a massage at can help with general circulatory issues.

Genetic or Medical conditions – If you have a genetic or medical condition such as the ones listed below, you stand a great risk of blood clots, DVT and poorer circulation.

  • Cancer – Research shows that the treatment of chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy can increase the risk
  • Heart disease
  • lung disease
  • Inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Thrombophilia – A genetic condition that makes your blood more likely to clot
  • Hughes Syndrome – Again a genetic condition – when the blood becomes abnormally “sticky”

Signs and Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis Include:

  • Oedema (Swelling) of the leg that is affected. Only usually in one leg and may appear larger than the other leg.  This is often the first sign that the patient will experience
  • Hot to the touch or increased warmth in the affected area
  • Restless leg – voluntary movement of the foot and leg with the patient constantly moving it to help with pain and discomfort.
  • Leg pain in a localised area, usually starting in the calf and will often feel like cramp and is also sore
  • Redness in the localised area