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Footnotes / Blog

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Monday, October 18th, 2010 Kenneth Donovan

also known as “DVT” or “Blood clots” is a serious disorder that can happen to just about anybody. As the name goes, this disorder is caused by a blood clot in the deep veins of the lower extremities. Left untreated/undiagnosed, this serious condition can lead to a death via a pulmonary embolism. Basically what happens, is the blood clot gets dislodge from the the lower limbs, and lodges in the main artery of the lungs, causing a lung infarct (death of that portion of the lung).

Blood clots are the 3rd major cause of death after surgery and therefore are taken seriously by the medical community. Signs and symptoms include soreness, swelling, hot, red lower extremity. The gold standard test is a venous doppler exam that can be perform in most ER’s.

Besides surgery, there are several risk factors that predispose people to blood clots, which include: birth control pills, genetics, atrial fibrillation, prolonged bedrest, tobacco smoke, obesity, cancer, and old age.

Treatment usually requires anticoagulation therapy that may include Aspirin, Lovenox, Coumadin, and heparin, as well as placement of a filter in the large vein to the lungs to prevent blood clots from traveling that far.