City International Hospital's Vascular expert shared, A deep venous thrombosis (DVT) can break away and move through your bloodstream to your lungs. If the clot blocks one or more of the blood vessels in your lungs, it is called a pulmonary embolism. A large pulmonary embolism can cause sudden death.
A deep venous thrombosis (DVT)
A deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot (thrombus) that forms inside deep veins in your legs or pelvis. The clot blocks blood flow and causes pressure to build up in the vein. Part of the clot can break away and move through your bloodstream to your lungs. If the clot blocks one or more of the blood vessels in your lungs, it is called a pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary Embolism: A Complication of DVT
Pulmonary embolism (PE) is often associated with DVT. It usually happens when a blood clot called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT), often in your leg, travels to your lungs and blocks a blood vessel. That leads to low oxygen levels in your blood. It can damage the lung and other organs and cause heart failure, too. It can be life-threatening.
If the pulmonary embolism is very large, symptoms may be more dramatic. They may include fainting spells, severe shortness of breath, and coughing up blood. A large PE can stop blood from reaching the lungs and is fatal. So if you've been diagnosed with DVT, you should be aware of this risk. Follow the treatment plan for your DVT to stop the clot from getting bigger and to keep new clots from forming.
In Vietnam, for every 100 people, there are 20 to 60 people with varicose veins, of which the subjects aged 50 and older account for 50%. Women have a much higher incidence rate than men. Many factors can increase your risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The more you have, the greater your risk of DVT and PE. Risk factors include older age, limited movement, due to working in the office, bed rest, traveling, sitting for a long time, crossing the legs, paralysis, or other reasons, the object standing longer, sedentary or carrying heavy loads. Diets lacking in fiber, rich in vitamins, and high heels often are also common causes of varicose veins.
PE won't always cause symptoms. You might have sudden shortness of breath and chest pain. The pain tends to be knife-like. It often is worse when you take deep breaths. If the pulmonary embolism is very large, symptoms may be more dramatic. They may include fainting spells, severe shortness of breath, and coughing up blood. A large pulmonary embolus can cause sudden death.
It is important to know about DVT because it can happen to anybody and can cause serious illness, disability, and in some cases, death. The good news is that DVT is preventable and treatable if discovered early.
When to see a doctor
Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism (DVT/PE) are often underdiagnosed and serious, but preventable medical conditions. Seek care immediately if you experience unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain or a cough that produces bloody sputum.
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