Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) – a disease where in the deep veins (usually in the legs, hips and pelvis) are formed blood clots (thrombus). This condition is dangerous because blood clots can break off and move through the blood through the heart, while not stop in the blood vessels of the lung. This is called a wandering clot embolic, and when he gets into the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE). If the clot is large enough, pulmonary embolism can be fatal.

Causes thrombosis

DVT occurs when the normal blood clotting process does not start after the damage or injury, and in normal conditions, while intact vascular wall.

There are several risk factors

– Age.
– Some operations increase the risk of development, especially large operations in the abdominal cavity and operations on large joints (knee or hip).
– Reduced activity during prolonged bed rest, hop on a plane or a long road trip.
– Heavy mechanical damage to the body with a break blood vessels, such as fractures (especially open or crushed).
Pregnancy and childbirth. In pregnant women, blood clots better, as the level of coagulation factors (blood proteins involved in blood clotting), and increased as the growing uterus can disrupt blood flow in the vessels. In addition, during childbirth blood vessels may be damaged, which is an additional risk factor. In the period immediately after birth the risk of DVT is even higher than during pregnancy (especially in caesarean section).
– Taking certain medicines: combined (estrogen and progesterone) oral contraceptives increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis. However, venous thrombosis is more common in pregnant women than in women taking oral contraceptives. In applying nekombinirovannyh oral contraceptives (containing only progestin) the occurrence of DVT less likely.
– Smoking.

The symptoms of deep vein thrombosis

At risk include:

– Older people
– The people who have for a long time to comply with bed rest (for example, after severe trauma)
– Persons who have undergone major surgery.
– Pregnant women and new mothers,
– Person suffering from overweight
– Smokers
– Women taking oral contraceptives.

Deep vein thrombosis is not always certain manifestations. Symptoms occur when a blood clot increases in size and rises above the lower leg (which can cause edema and leg pain).

What you can do?

For suspected deep vein thrombosis should immediately consult a doctor.

What can a doctor?

If the physician requires a deep vein thrombosis, he examines you and ask some questions. Next, you can assign a special ultrasound to assess blood flow in the veins and possibly a blood test in order to find a substance that is produced by the body when it is trying to destroy blood clots. Sometimes, these tests do not provide enough information, and you may need a procedure that bears the name of angiography, when the doctor inserts a dye into the veins to track their progress. The main goal of treatment for DVT prevention of pulmonary embolism. You designate anticoagulant drugs (anticoagulants), initially in the form of injections such as enoxaparin, dalteparin or heparin, later in the form of tablets such as warfarin or phenindione. You may need to do some blood tests to make sure that these drugs work. If you have pain, you are advised painkillers.

In some severe cases, a vein will be a special substance that dissolves the clot. This process itself is called thrombolysis. Modern medicine has drugs that are actually able to dissolve the clot, but they can also cause bleeding, and may not apply in all cases.

Another strategy is the introduction of cava filter into the interior vena cava (Vienna, which collects blood from the lower parts of the body). This filter is intended to detain all moving blood clots (emboli) on the way to the lungs. Usually cava filter is only installed if the patient for some reason can not take anticoagulant drugs, or if such therapy is not effective.

Your doctor may recommend that you wear special compression stockings, which can reduce the risk of complications.

The length of treatment depends on the individual case, including the risk factors for the development of deep vein thrombosis re. Typically, the minimum time of treatment 3 months, but in some cases, doctors recommend lifelong therapy. Your doctor can tell you about the risks and benefits of long-term treatment with anticoagulants, so that together you can make the best decision in your case.

Prevention of thrombosis

For the prevention of DVT patients in the hospital and having the risk of disease (for example, suffered a severe surgery) administered anticoagulants. Can also advise wearing compression stockings.

In the upcoming long flight we recommend the following: dress loose, not tight clothes during the flight as much as possible drink soft drinks regularly move the lower legs and feet, massage your calves. However, we do not recommend actively walk around the cabin, because you run the risk of damage in case of turbulence.
Pay attention to pain in the legs during the flight and after the flight of the month if you are concerned, see your doctor as soon as you can.
Cochrane collaboration (international organization helping people make the right decisions about their health) recently conducted a study on the effectiveness of compression stockings for prevention of DVT during a flight. It was found that these stockings do reduce the risk of DVT.

If you are planning a long trip, and you have the risk of deep vein thrombosis, you should consult your physician.

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