Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious medical condition when a blood clot (also known as a thrombus) emerges in deep veins of a human body (Chung et al., 2014). Usually, such parts of a human body as legs and thighs are the places where DVT occurs. It has to be diagnosed as early as possible because blood clots may be broken fast and cause unpleasant changes, including blood flow blocks. To rule this condition out, it is necessary to learn its possible risks, symptoms, complications, and tests.
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In some cases, DVT may be inherited and not influence the work of the organism unless it is combined with some other risk factors (Haig et al., 2013). DVT can develop in case a person has certain medical conditions, including cancer (when blood substances can be increased dramatically), heart failure (when the heart function is limited), bowel diseases, and pulmonary embolism (Goldhaber & Bounameaux, 2012).
Patients should also know that prolonged bed rest may also become a serious risk factor for DVT because muscles stop contracting and influence the circulation of blood. Finally, such factors as smoking, obesity, pregnancy, and taking birth control pills that may change the number of hormones should be considered as risks (van Lanqevelde, Flinterman, van Hylckama-Vleig, Rosendaal, & Cannegieter, 2012). Old age (60+) can also be a risk factor of DVT.
There are several main symptoms of DVT when a patient should see a doctor and be consulted, as well as be properly diagnosed. First, there can be an abnormal swelling of a leg or even both legs. Second, there is the pain in a leg. It may gain the form of cramping or constant soreness. Finally, a discoloration can be the symptom of DVT (Chung, Lin, Chang, Lu, & Kao, 2014). With time, these simple symptoms of DVT can become the warning signs of pulmonary embolism, like chest pain, rapid pulse, and shortness of breath. Still, it is necessary to remember that some cases of DVT may be without any evident symptoms.
Potential Complications from DVT
One of the main complications of DVT is a pulmonary embolism when a blood clot reaches the lung and blocks a blood vessel. As soon as DVT causes the changes in the work of the lungs, it is necessary to control the level of damage and consider such symptoms as dizziness, sweating, and fast breathing. Pulmonary embolism is the third most common cause of death (Goldhaber & Bounameaux, 2012). The combination of risk factors determines the possibility of treatment and the use of certain medications that can stabilize a patient with DVT and avoid the development of other complications. People with DVT may also suffer from such complication as postphlebitic (postthrombotic) syndrome when the damage of veins because of blood clots influences blood flow.
Tests to Rule out DVT
To avoid fatal outcomes and provide patients with appropriate treatment, it is expected to take some tests and rule this medical condition out as soon as possible. In addition to the oral and physical examination, several tests may be offered to exclude and approve the disease. First, ultrasound can detect a clot if any. Sometimes, people should be ready for a series of ultrasounds to check if other organs are infected. MRI or CT can be used as well. Blood tests are important to check the level of blood and discover the substances. The D-dimer test is used to check the presence/absence of blood clots (Bates et al., 2012). The Well’s rule can be used to interpret the results of the D-dimer test (Geersing et al., 2014). Venography can be used to detect the size of veins.
Bates, S.M., Jaeschke, R., Stevens, S.M., Goodacre, S., Wells, P.S., Stevenson, M.D., … Makdissi, R. (2012). Diagnosis of DVT: Antithrombotic therapy and prevention of thrombosis: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. CHEST Journal, 141(2), 351-418.
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Chung, W.S., Lin, C.L., Chang, S.N., Lu, C.C., & Kao, C.H. (2014). Systemic lupus erythematosus increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism: A nationwide cohort study. Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis, 12(4), 452-458.
Chung, W.S., Peng, C.L., Lin, C.L., Chang, Y.J., Chen, Y.F., Chiang, Y., … Kao, C.H. (2014). Rheumatoid arthritis increases the risk of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary thromboembolism: A nationwide cohort study. Annals of the Rheumatic Disease, 73(10), 1774-1780.
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Haig, Y., Enden, T., Slagsvold, C.E., Sandvik, L., Sandset, P.M., & Klow, N.E. (2013). Determinants of early and long-term efficacy of catheter-directed thrombolysis in proximal deep vein thrombosis. Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology, 24(1), 17-24.
van Lanqevelde, K., Flinterman, L.E., van Hylckama-Vleig, A., Rosendaal, F.R., & Cannegieter, S.C. (2012). Broadening the factor V Leiden paradox: Pulmonary embolism and deep-vein thrombosis as 2 sides of the spectrum. Blood, 120(5), 933-946.