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Know Your DVT (Deep Venous Thrombosis) Risks & What To Look Out For

A deep venous thrombosis, more commonly known as a DVT, occurs when a blood clot or thrombus forms within the deep veins of your body. Some symptoms to be on the look out for include:

  • Swelling in one or both legs
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both legs, even if it's just when you stand or walk
  • Warm skin on your leg
  • Red or discolored skin on your leg

The U.S. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute mentions these potential risk factors:

  • Having had a previous DVT
  • Taking medication that thickens the blood or promotes clotting.
  • Recent surgery, a broken bone, or other injury that affects a deep vein.
  • Having reduced blood flow to a deep vein as a result of inactivity. Typical causes are post-surgical recovery, or taking a long trip that limits your ability to move around.
  • Being pregnant.
  • Being treated for cancer.
  • Having a central venous catheter.
  • Being over the age of 60, being a smoker or being obese.

Call 911 or go to an emergency room right away if you notice: (these could be signs that the blood clot has traveled to your lungs resulting in a pulmonary embolism)

  • Sudden coughing, which may bring up blood
  • Sharp chest pain
  • Rapid breathing or shortness of breath
  • Severe lightheadedness
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