What is DVT ?

 

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which a blood clot forms inside a deep vein. The blood clot either partially or completely blocks the flow of blood in the vein. DVT occurs mainly in the lower extremities.



A blood clot (thrombus) forms through the action of a cascade of proteolytic reactions involving the participation of nearly 20 different substances, most of which are liver-synthesized plasma glycoproteins.




Pulmonary Embolism

When the clot becomes displaced from a vein, travels to the lung, and blocks or partially blocks the pulmonary artery leading from the heart to the lungs. This condition is called pulmonary embolism.




Venous Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism

UNLIKE MOST life-threatening conditions, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) can strike silently:


80% of DVT and PE occur without symptoms initially.
Up to 600,000 hospitalizations each year are attributed to DVT.
Of those hospitalized patients, between 50,000 and 200,000 will experience PE *
These emboli cause up to 25% of all hospital deaths.
Two-thirds of deaths occur within 30 minutes of an embolic event.
A clot large enough to totally occlude the pulmonary artery can cause cardiac arrest.

Because of the lethal potential of DVT and PE and the difficulty diagnosing them, thorough assessment and prevention are keys to caring for patients at risk for these conditions.
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