Learn the risks, signs, and symptoms of DVT and stay alive!
Don’t be a victim of this largely preventable monster!
Smoking is one of the biggest risks, and one of the most preventable as well.
Immobility kills too. This includes the immobility of long plane rides. Get up and walk around once in awhile. Walk the length of the plane every hour or actively contract the muscles in your legs every fifteen minutes.
Did you know that women on birth control are at increased risk of DVT? Yep, it’s true. But so is pregnancy. I guess you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Talk to you OB/Gyn about it. Soon.
If you are looking at going under the knife, anything longer than about 30 minutes, make sure your surgeon is taking precautions against you having DVT. This might include blood thinners, or something as simple as stockings that will prevent blood pooling in the legs.
Obesity is also an independent risk factor for DVT. Talk to your doc about what you can do to lose weight, or become more active.
Most DVTs that kill come from the deep veins of the legs, hence most of the early symptoms of DVT involve the legs. Any unexplained and/or unanticipated swelling or pain in the calves should be investigated, especially after surgery or a period of significant immobility (which includes plane flights of longer than a few hours)!
One more thing to remember. DVTs are often asymptomatic and don’t announce themselves until they cause real trouble, like shortness of breath. If you have any of these risk factors and even one symptom, your physician will have a low index of suspicion—and you should too. Don’t wait until it’s too late!