About DVT

What is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in one of the deep veins in the body that transport blood back to the heart. The large veins that run deep within the calf muscle in the lower leg are common places for clots to form.

Due to the clot blocking blood flow in the vein, pain and swelling may occur in the leg. However, the real danger occurs if a piece of the blood clot breaks off into the bloodstream and blocks one of the blood vessels leading to the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism (PE) which restricts oxygen delivery in the body. It puts a heavy strain on the heart and is a potentially life-threatening condition.

Reducing the risk of developing DVT

Although you can’t guarantee that you will be able avoid DVT, there are a number of simple things you can do to help reduce the risk:

  • Take regular exercise
  • When travelling or immobile for a long period of time, exercise at regular intervals
  • Stop or cut down smoking
  • Avoid being overweight
  • Keep hydrated

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