Page 5

P868 Understanding Venous Thromboembolism

What is deep vein thrombosis? A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a deep vein. These veins are located near the bones and are surrounded by muscle. A blood clot, or thrombus, may form in the deep veins as a result of a blood-clotting abnormality, an injury, or prolonged inactivity such as a long airplane ride or bed rest. A deep vein thrombus can break loose and travel through the bloodstream to the lung. This is called pulmonary embolism and can be dangerous. A person with deep vein thrombosis may or may not have symptoms. If symptoms are present, they often include tenderness, pain or swelling. Treatment usually includes the use of blood-thinning medications (anticoagulants) that prevent new clots from forming or prevent existing clots from getting larger. Understanding Venous Thromboembolism Preventing deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism If you’re at risk for deep vein thrombosis (DVT): 77 Get regular checkups 77 Take medication as directed by your healthcare provider 77 After surgery or illness, get out of bed and move around as soon as possible 77 During long trips, exercise your lower leg muscles 77 Maintain a healthy weight, stop smoking and exercise regularly If you have previously had DVT or pulmonary embolism (PE), prevent future blood clots by following the tips above. Also: 77 Take all medicines prescribed by your healthcare provider to treat or prevent blood clots 77 If your healthcare provider has prescribed it, use graduated compression stockings (also called support hose or medical compression stockings) to help prevent blood pooling and clotting in your lower leg 77 Follow up with your healthcare provider for tests and treatment Call your healthcare provider immediately if you have any of the following signs or symptoms: 77 Pain or tenderness in one leg (may only be felt when walking or standing) 77 Swelling in one leg or along a vein in the leg 77 Warmth in the painful or swollen areas in one leg 77 Red or discolored skin in one leg 77 Difficulty breathing or unexplained shortness of breath 77 Coughing up blood Source: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, SurgeonGeneral.gov Preventing DVT and Pulmonary Embolism Download/print this PDF 5


P868 Understanding Venous Thromboembolism
To see the actual publication please follow the link above