The older we are, the greater the risk of being surprised by a blood clot that obstructs blood circulation. If torn off and flooded into the lungs, it can become life-threatening.
Having a family history of blood clots may mean you are genetically predisposed to it. At that time, it is advisable to consider the method of contraception, smoking and other risk factors.
Blood clotting is a very carefully regulated process, as there is a perfect balance in the body between the mechanisms that promote blood clotting and the mechanisms that inhibit it. If this mechanism is disturbed in any way, a blood clot can form: due to the activation of the blood clotting system, slowed blood flow or damage to the vascular wall. A clot can form in arteries or veins and lead to dangerous conditions such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.
Risk of venous thrombosis
When a person has an illness or there are circumstances in which blood clotting changes, blood vessel walls are damaged or venous flow is slowed down, the risk of developing venous thrombosis is significantly increased. This happens after major surgeries, especially after pelvic and lower limb surgeries, after spinal surgeries, major abdominal surgeries, and major injuries. Although venous thrombosis is very rare, the risk is also increased in pregnancy, after childbirth and in women taking birth control pills compared to the rest of the population.
Let’s recognize the first signs
Venous thrombosis usually begins in the lower limb. The patient has a feeling of tension, heaviness and dull pain in the leg, the problems are more pronounced when the patient walks. The leg is swollen, the skin is warmer, subcutaneous veins can be seen. When a clot causes only partial blockage of a blood vessel, the patient can also be without problems. Deep vein thrombosis must be distinguished from inflammation and thrombosis of the superficial – subcutaneous veins. In this case, the affected vein is painful, thickened, and the surrounding skin turns red.
The risk of venous thrombosis increases after severe injuries and surgeries.
Anticoagulant drugs are used to treat venous thrombosis – these are drugs that reduce blood clotting. At the beginning, patients can be treated with injections or, exceptionally, with an infusion of an anticoagulant drug, but more often, treatment with tablets is started immediately after the diagnosis. When the course of the disease is not complicated, thrombosis is not accompanied by pulmonary embolism and associated diseases allow it, the patient is treated on an outpatient basis and does not need hospital admission.
Can thrombosis lead to pulmonary embolism?
Concomitant pulmonary embolism is present in one third, and according to some data, in as many as half of patients with untreated venous thrombosis. When the embolism is small and the patient does not have concomitant heart or lung disease, it can be completely hassle-free. On the other hand, extensive embolism involving most of the pulmonary vessels can lead to sudden heart failure and death. Therefore, seek immediate medical attention if: you do not catch your breath, your chest hurts, your legs swell, you have constant and prolonged abdominal pain, you have neurological signs, including persistent headaches and blurred vision.
What about the long-term consequences?
In 20 percent of patients, according to some data even more, after suffering from venous thrombosis, chronic venous insufficiency, called postthrombotic syndrome, develops. Patients have a feeling of heavy and tired legs, they may also have cramps. The subcutaneous veins dilate and varicose veins form. In more severe forms, shin ulcers can occur that are more difficult to heal. The consequences and progression of postthrombotic syndrome can be mitigated by the use of calibrated compression stockings. However, various sclerosing and surgical procedures are also available for advanced conditions.
Source: Svet24.si by novice.svet24.si.
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