Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)


A DVT is a blood clot which forms in a vein, usually in the leg. If someone has a DVT, part of the blood clot could break off and travel in the bloodstream. It keeps traveling until it gets stuck somewhere, almost always in the lung. This is called a pulmonary embolism (PE). This is extremely serious and, if not treated, can be fatal.

In some cases of DVT there may not be any typical symptoms.

Typical symptoms usually include:

Ultrasound can be used to assess the veins in your leg and determine whether you have a DVT. These tests are reliable but if there is any doubt with your scan then it may be suggested to have a repeat ultrasound scan after a seven days. The usual treatment for DVT is anticoagulant medicine (heparin or warfarin) to break down the blood clot.

Anyone can get a DVT, but you are more at risk if you:

To reduce the risk of a DVT you can:

If you are travelling on a long journey of over 4 hours, it is recommended to move around as much as possible before, during and after the journey, leg exercise during the flight, drinking water and wearing flight socks to help the blood circulate.

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