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World Thrombosis Day: Blood clots and swelling in legs could be an early sign of Deep Vein Thrombosis, says Dr Ravul Jindal

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Mohali, October 14, 2022: Good blood circulation is paramount for maintaining good health as it promotes the flow of blood and oxygen throughout the body. However, sometimes, blood flow in the body is obstructed due to the formation of clots in blood vessels, a condition termed Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). The health condition can affect the heart, lungs and other organs.

To raise awareness on the formation of clots in the blood stream, World Thrombosis Day is observed on 13th October every year. Dr Ravul Jindal, Director, Vascular Surgery, Fortis Hospital Mohali, through an advisory gives us an insight into the causes and symptoms of DVT.

What is DVT?
Deep vein thrombosis is a clot that usually occurs in the arm or leg, thereby causing severe swelling. The clot can partially or completely block blood flow through the vein. The condition can prove to be life-threatening if not treated in time.

Risk factors
Discussing the risk factors of DVT, Dr Jindal, said, “The prime factors of DVT include age, injury, genetic factors and prolonged bed rest. People above 60 years of age are at a higher risk of getting the disease. Those on bed rest for an extended period of time have restricted physical movement. This can cause blood clots in the calves of legs. Sometimes, injury to blood veins or surgery also increases the risk of DVT. Genetic factors or disorders, such as V Leiden, are also responsible for causing DVT.”

Signs & Symptoms
The major symptoms of DVT include:

· Sudden onset of pain and swelling in the arm or leg.

· Cramps or soreness in the leg.

· Redness or discolouration of the skin.

· Difficulty in breathing, an indicator that clots from veins may have travelled to the lungs.

Precautions
Discussing the precautions to avoid DVT, Dr Jindal, said, “One should keep themselves well hydrated. Wear compression stockings during long travel as these help prevent the formation of blood clots. If possible, take small walking breaks. People with a family history of DVT should wear loose-fitted clothing as tight clothes can constrict blood flow in the waist or legs.”

Treatment options
The initial treatment is anticoagulation. Anticoagulants, also known as blood thinners, help in dissolving blood clots. “Patients with severe swelling undergo Thrombolysis and Thrombectomy, whereby clots are removed from the veins. In some cases, Venous Stenting is conducted, wherein stents are inserted in the affected vein to restore the flow of blood,” added Dr Jindal.

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