DVT: A Preventable Condition that is Taking Lives

Deep Vein Thrombosis also known as DVT is a global health condition that is preventable but is still a leading cause of death worldwide. In Europe and the U.S., DVT is claiming more lives than AIDS, breast and prostate cancer, and motor vehicle crashes combined. Enough preventable measures are not being taken.

DVT Factoid

Understanding what DVT is

Deep vein thrombosis, (DVT) is when a blood clot (blood thickening) forms in a vein deep in the body, most commonly the leg. If that blood clot detaches and travels to the lungs, it then becomes a life threatening complication known as a pulmonary embolism (PE). By raising awareness and taking preventative measure with DVT, the risk of a PE will be reduces ultimately saving lives.

 

Who is at Risk?

The most common causes of DVT are things that affect clotting or the heart such as a heart attack, congestive heart failure, trauma, and long surgeries.

Many factors play a role in someone’s increasing chance of contracting DVT. A person’s age, weight, body movement, family medical history, and current health conditions are all factors. People who are perfectly healthy have contracted DVT due to limited movement but have been predisposed to clots.

Some common occurrences of limited movement include high-risk pregnancy where woman are advised to limit their movement and also on air flights or long drives. When the legs are bent for a long period of time (4 hours) clots tend to form.

Millions of people worldwide are affected. Survivors are taking Selfies to build awareness in their communities and educating them to ask for a risk assessment. See people who have survived on the World Thrombosis Day website at: worldthrombosisday.org/survivor-selfies/

 

Know the Signs to Look for

The CDC state symptoms of DVT include swelling, pain, tenderness, and redness of the skin. It is also important to know that you can have a pulmonary embolism, or PE, without any symptoms of a blood clot.

Signs and symptoms of a PE include difficulty breathing, faster than normal or irregular heartbeat, chest pain or discomfort, which usually worsens with a deep breath, or coughing, and very low blood pressure.

Doctors advise to seek immediate medical attention if you are experiencing any of these symptoms.

DVT Factoid

 

Taking Preventative Measures

There are two different types of prescribed preventative measures (one pharmaceutical, one mechanical) to help aid in prevention of DVT.

  1. Anticoagulation
  2. Intermittent Compression

Anticoagulant (mostly commonly heparin) therapy remains the mainstay of medical therapy for deep venous thrombosis (DVT). Patients typically either stop anticoagulants when the acute episode of VTE has been adequately treated (approximately 3 months) or remain on treatment indefinitely.

There are non-pharmaceutical prevention therapy regimens known as intermittent compression that are proven to be just as effective if not more. How does intermittent compression work?

Intermittent compression applies 50 mm of pressure to the calf.  When the calf is compressed all of the blood in the calf is forced into the thigh and out to the heart through the vena cava. This circulation of blood presents the clots from forming in the thigh and vena cava. The clots in the thigh and vena cava are the ones associated with travel to the heart and cause death.

There are many mechanical compression therapy devices on the market. Some of which are portable devices. However many of those “portable” devices still have tubing and wire that bog you down or shorter battery life that limits you to activities. The Cirona® 6300 provides intermittent compression to the calf once a minute and has an 8 hour battery life and can be worn while out and about. It can also be worn during air flight and on long drives. The rechargeable batteries allow you to wear them while you sleep.cirona-life

 

 

Resources 

October 13th is World Thrombosis Day, a recognized day that focuses on the overlooked and misunderstood condition of thrombosis. With thousands of educational events in countries around the world, WTD and its partners place a global spotlight on thrombosis as an urgent and growing health problem. View more at worldthrombosisday.org/

Take a general risk assessment (this is not meant to diagnosis any conditions or if you think you are at risk, you are advised to specific with your Doctor): devonmedicalproducts.com/assessment

Mechanical Compression Therapy to help prevent the onset of DVT: devonmedicalproducts.com/medical-devices/cirona-deep-vein-thrombosis-therapy/cirona-6300/