Even the term alone should strike concern into your heart for many reasons. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition wherein blood clots develop in the body’s deep veins, can be dangerous. If the blood clot breaks loose from the vein, it can travel through the bloodstream and find its way into the lungs – and the life-threatening condition known as pulmonary embolism follows.
Thief in the Night Condition
But DVT is also a like a thief in the night in that there are sometimes no symptoms. When there are symptoms, such as swelling and pain in the affected leg, these may be dismissed as temporary, even as something else.
This shouldn’t be as DVT can lead to a life-threatening condition, as previously mentioned. You have to seek medical guidance if you suspect that you have it. You must immediately seek medical attention, too, when you have the following symptoms of a pulmonary embolism:
- Acute onset of shortness of breath, usually without a prior event to explain it
- Chest discomfort, even pain, that becomes worse when coughing or taking a deep breath
- Feeling dizzy, even fainting
- Coughing up of blood
- Rapid pulse
Don’t let DVT become the beginning of the end for you! You will find that there are many treatments for it. So there’s no sense in dismissing it and hoping that it will go away on its own.
Of course, your doctor is the best person who can determine the best treatment plan for your DVT case. You may be referred to a specialist, too, such as when you have another underlying health condition that can aggravate it.
There are several goals in DVT treatment:
- Preventing the growth of the blood clot
- Preventing it from breaking loose from the vein
- Reducing the risks of a recurrence
Your treatment plan can include one or more of the following medications:
- Blood thinners, known as anticoagulants, decrease the blood’s ability to clot although these have their risks, too. These are also used in preventing the growth of blood clots and in reducing the risk of additional clot development. These include Lovenox (enoxaparin) and Coumadin (warfarin).
- Clotbusters are prescribed for more serious DVT cases, even for pulmonary embolism, especially when first-line medications aren’t working. These include thrombolytics, which are used in ICUs.
The insertion of a filter may also be performed, said filter of which will prevent blood clots from becoming lodged in the lungs. But for less invasive measures, your doctor will recommend compression stockings to reduce the swelling and pain in your legs.