Sunday, March 10, 2013

DVT Awareness Month


BY Nurse Diane

My brother dated this girl when he was in college.  She lived here in town, and he went away to college, so when he came home If I wanted to see him, I would usually go to her home and spend time with her family.   Her mother was also a very good cook, which made spending time there so much better.  Not long after my brother was killed in a car accident, her family moved a few hours away, and I had moved there too when I started college.  I still would go by and visit with them (and have supper) every chance I got.  They were like my second family.  When my son was born, we even called her grandma.  A few weeks after he was born, we moved back to my home town, and while I still went to visit, it was less frequent.  She was a young woman, well, younger than my own mother.  That was why I was shocked to hear that she suddenly passed away.  She spent alot of time at home, just sitting and not moving around much.  She developed a Deep Vein Thrombosis, a blood clot that began to move and it went to her heart and killed her.  

DVT is a common medical problem. It is estimated that 2 million people in the United States develop a DVT every year -- many of them don't even know it. Of those who develop a pulmonary embolism, up to 200,000 die each year, which is more than die annually in the US from breast cancer and AIDS combined.

Factors that increase the risk of getting a DVT include: 
  • major surgery under general anesthesia, especially if it involves leg joints or a hip
  • obesity
  • varicose veins
  • prolonged bed rest and immobility
  • heart or lung problems that require hospitalization
  • major injuries
  • cancer
  • leg paralysis
  • pregnancy and childbirth
  • estrogen containing contraceptive pills, patch, or vaginal ring
  • estrogen replacement therapy
  • long-distance travel

Symptoms of a DVT include:
  • leg swelling 
  • leg pain -- often worse when standing or walking
  • leg warmth and redness
  • Ways to  prevent getting a clot include:
  • exercising the legs regularly -- take a brisk walk every day 
  • maintaining a reasonable body weight
  • avoiding sitting or lying in bed for long periods of time 
  • avoiding tight-fitting, restrictive clothing
  • sitting with both legs on the floor (uncrossed)

March is DVT Awareness Month.  If you know of someone who is at risk for contracting one, please encourage them to seek help from their doctor, and to start exercising regularly.  For more information, visit this site: http://www.hematology.org/News/2011/6473.aspx

(All  images from Google) 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you. I appreciate the education on the subject.

    ReplyDelete