Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a disease that occurs when blood clots are formed in the deep veins of a person’s body (Grant et al., 2012). Most frequently, such clots appear in leg veins, but there is also such type of the illness as the upper extremity DVT (Grant et al., 2012). A serious problem with this disease is that there may be no visual signs of it. However, there are some symptoms that help to identify that a person has DVT. First of all, a leg or an arm in which blood clots have developed begins to swell. In rare cases, both legs or arms may swell. Another symptom is the pain in the extremities. In lower extremity DVT, the pain starts in the calf. In upper extremity DVT, there may be the pain in a shoulder or neck. Also, a patient may experience weakness in the hand (Grant et al., 2012). DVT may develop if an individual has some medical condition influencing the process of blood clotting. Another possible trigger of this disease is the limited movement of a patient such as staying in bed for a long time after some accident or surgery.
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There are several major risks of DVT. First of all, a person may develop a clot if they have already had one. Also, if there were cases of the disease in family history, there is a likelihood that it may develop in a person. Other dangers are presented with a sedentary lifestyle or excessive weight. If a person moves too little, the possibility of blood clot formation grows. Pregnancy also belongs to DVT risks since it induces the rise of estrogen, which may lead to easier blood clotting. Elderly age may cause DVT due to these people’s low activity and numerous health issues.
A serious complication of DVT is pulmonary embolism (Chung et al., 2013; Majoor et al., 2013). This condition develops when a blood clot traveling from the extremities blocks one or more of a person’s blood vessels in the lungs (Majoor et al., 2013). Pulmonary embolism has such signs as rapid pulsation, shortness of breath, or coughing up blood. It is crucial to notice these symptoms since there may be too little time to save the person’s life. According to research, asthma can increase the possibility of DVT and pulmonary embolism (Majoor et al., 2013). Also, the risk of these two health conditions increases for patients with rheumatoid arthritis (Chung et al., 2013). Thus, it is necessary for people who suffer from arthritis or asthma to be aware of DVT symptoms and report if they notice any of them. Also, since DVT may develop asymptomatically, such patients should have regular appointments with healthcare practitioners.
The tests used to check whether a person does or does not have DVT include diagnostic imaging, ultrasound, contrast venography, computed tomography venography, and magnetic resonance venography (Grant et al., 2012). The benefit of ultrasound technology is that it is “widely available, non-invasive and does not result in exposure to radiation” (Grant et al., 2012, p. 1101). Contrast venography is considered as “the accepted reference standard for suspected DVT” (Grant et al., 2012, p. 1102). In each particular case, the doctor decides which method is the most suitable for the patient’s testing.
DVT is a dangerous disease with severe complications. Therefore, it is necessary to eliminate the possibility of its development by living a healthy and active lifestyle. If a person has a high predisposition to DVP, they should check their veins regularly and immediately consult a healthcare provider if they notice any suspicious symptoms.
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