The video explains blood clots known as deep vein thrombosis (DVTs). March is DVT Awareness Month.
“These occur as a result of poor blood flow due to inactivity for long periods of time,” said Dr. Shutze. Undetected DVTs may travel to the lungs and cause a fatal pulmonary embolism.
In 2003, NBC News reporter David Bloom, 39, died of a pulmonary embolism after spending weeks traveling around Baghdad in a cramped military tank. Blood clots in the lungs result in 300,000 to 600,000 deaths annually according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
DVT warning signs include:
• leg pain that worsens when walking or standing
• sensation of warmth
• skin that turns blue or red.
DVT risk factors are:
• history of heart attack, stroke, congestive heart failure
• inflammatory bowel disease
• pregnancy, nursing or using birth control pills.
Specific causes of DVT include:
• hip, knee, leg, calf, abdomen, or chest surgery
• a broken hip or leg
• prolonged travel in cramped conditions
• inherited blood clotting abnormalities
“Treatments include compression stockings, blood thinners, and surgery,” said Dr. Shutze. “Procedures such as filters have 95 percent effectiveness in preventing a blood clot from reaching the heart.”
# # #
About the Society for Vascular Surgery®
The Society for Vascular Surgery® (SVS) is a not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of vascular surgeons, that seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research, and public awareness. SVS is the national advocate for 3,750 specialty-trained vascular surgeons and other medical professionals who are dedicated to the prevention and cure of vascular disease. Visit its Web site at VascularWeb.org®. Follow SVS on Twitter and Facebook.