Deep Vein Thrombosis -- DVT

April 3, 2016 01:00 PM

Blood contains specialized components that allow it to form clots, to stop blood loss from an injury. However, when blood clots form within a vein and not in response to external bleeding, a dangerous condition results. Deep Vein Thrombosis, often called DVT, occurs when blood clots form in large veins, usually in the lower legs or thighs.

In addition to causing a local vein blockage, the clot results in pain, swelling, and stiffness. It can also break loose and travel to other areas of the body. A clot that formed in the legs can travel through the bloodstream and lodge within the blood vessels in the lungs where it is called a pulmonary embolism (PE). Depending on its size and position in the lungs, a PE can cause extreme chest pain, difficulty breathing, and even death.

You can take steps to prevent clots from forming in your legs. In fact, exercise is an excellent way to prevent DVT. Inactivity from illness or injury is a major risk factor for development of leg clots. Inactivity caused by a sedentary lifestyle also creates an environment in which deep vein thrombosis is likely to  form. Other risk factors include advancing age, obesity, smoking, pregnancy, or certain medications. Check with your HackensackUMG healthcare provider to see if you are at risk.


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