Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition where a blot clot develops in one of the body’s deep vein systems. It is commonly found in the legs but can occur in other parts of the body, such as in the arms. While it can cause mild pain and swelling, DVT sometimes occurs without any symptoms.
DVT results from a variety of conditions, particularly those that affect how the blood clots. It can also develop as a result of prolonged immobility. This can happen while recovering from an injury or even during prolonged travel, where the body has remained in the same position for hours.
If you have been in an accident, it is essential to learn more about this potentially serious condition and what you can do if it happens to you.
Table of Contents
What Are the Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis?
DVT has a range of symptoms, including:
- Swelling in the legs
- The affected leg feeling warmer than usual
- Cramping and soreness in the calves that extends to the rest of the legs
- Change in the color of the leg, usually to red or purple
It is important to remember that DVT does not always show symptoms. You could still have it even if you are not noticing these signs. If you do exhibit symptoms, make sure to contact a healthcare professional immediately.
DVT can manifest chronically or acutely. When DVT occurs acutely, it is generally an emergency situation. On the other hand, when it occurs chronically, it will gradually worsen over time as blood clots slowly move through various areas of the body.
Complications from DVT
Unfortunately, DVT can potentially become fatal when one of the blood clots loosens and travels elsewhere in the body. For example, a clot could leave the legs and travel to the lungs. Once in the lungs, the clot would effectively block the blood flow, resulting in what’s known as a pulmonary embolism.
Some of the common symptoms of a pulmonary embolism include:
- Chest pain and discomfort
- Chest pain that worsens when coughing
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
- Accelerated breathing
- Irregular pulse
If your DVT progresses to the point of a pulmonary embolism, it’s best to seek emergency medical attention.
What Causes Deep Vein Thrombosis?
A blood clot occurs when anything restricts the normal flow or clotting of blood throughout the body. This means that if a vein is damaged as a result of an injury, infection, or surgery, DVT can manifest.
What Risk Factors Are Associated With Deep Vein Thrombosis?
DVT occurs most commonly in adults aged 60 and up. However, DVT can affect anyone regardless of their age. You have a higher risk of developing DVT if you exhibit any of the following factors:
Bodily immobility means your muscles are not contracting as they should. Muscle contractions assist with blood flow, so when they aren’t contracting, there is less force to move the blood throughout your body. This is why remaining sedentary for long periods of time, either by sitting or lying in bed, can lead to DVT.
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills can increase your blood’s ability to clot, which can also raise your chances of having DVT.
Pregnancy can cause an increase in blood pressure. This is especially true in the areas surrounding the legs and pelvis. Women are at increased risk of experiencing blood clots for up to six weeks after their pregnancy, especially if they have a family history of blood clot disorders.
Obesity can result in increased pressure in the pelvis and legs. This pressure can lead to the development of DVT.
Cancer and Cancer Treatment
Certain types of cancer can accelerate blood clotting. Cancer treatment can also increase the occurrence of blood clots.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Due to the pressure both conditions produce on the veins, those with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are at an increased risk of developing DVT.
Heart failure can directly lead to DVT. In this case, the symptoms are usually evident due to the heart and lungs not working as efficiently as they should.
Specific genetic disorders can result in accelerated instances of blood clotting. Usually, these disorders only result in DVT when combined with other risk factors.
In these cases, you may notice that your leg has turned a shade of red or is unusually warm to the touch. However, you may also show no symptoms at all.
How Can You Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis?
The best way to prevent DVT is by implementing lifestyle changes. This can be a task easier said than done. However, there are specific steps you can take to make healthier choices throughout the day. If you aim to prevent DVT, try the following:
When you smoke, your chances of developing DVT increase. Avoiding or stopping smoking is a key step in preventing DVT.
By exercising regularly, you can improve your circulation and lower your risk of developing blood clots. You don’t need an extensive exercise program to benefit; 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day can help.
Avoid Sitting Too Long
If you work a desk job that has you sitting for long periods of time or you have recently had surgery, make sure you consciously incorporate movement into your daily activities. This will help decrease your chances of developing blood clots.
Contact a Harrisburg Personal Injury Attorney If You Developed Deep Vein Thrombosis After an Accident
If you or a loved one has been in an accident that has resulted in the development of DVT, you need an experienced attorney at your side. The skilled attorneys at Marzzacco Niven & Associates have passionately advocated for victims in Harrisburg, PA since 2008.
From contacting witnesses to dealing with insurance companies, our experienced Harrisburg personal injury lawyers can handle all the legalities of your case while you focus on recovering. Contact us today at (717) 231-1640 for a free case review.