Thrombotic Disorder

Deep Vein Thrombosis

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) develops when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your legs. Individuals may experience swelling or pain in the legs. Sometimes, DVT can show up with no warning.

Common signs and symptoms of DVT are:

  • Swelling in the affected leg.
  • Legs that are painful to touch. Pain starts in your calf and can feel like cramping or soreness.
  • Red or discolored skin present on the leg.
  • A feeling of warmth in the affected leg.

Blood clots are usually caused by restricted blood flow. This could be caused by a vein injury because of surgery, trauma, or inflammation.

  • Age. Individuals over 60 are at the greatest risk for developing DVT.
  • Sitting idle for significant periods of time. If the legs remain still for hours, the calf muscles are unable to contract. And it is muscle contractions that help the blood circulate.
  • Having bed rest because of long hospital stay or paralysis. Blood clots can form in the calves of your legs if your calf muscles don’t move for long periods of time.
  • Injury or surgery. Injuries in the veins increase the risk of blood clots.
  • Pregnancy. The level of pressure in the veins of the pelvis and legs drastically increase during a pregnancy. Women who have a family history of clotting disorders are especially at risk. Blood clots formed during a pregnancy can last for up to six weeks after you have your baby.
  • Birth control pills (oral contraceptives) or hormone replacement therapy. Certain proteins increase the risk of blood clots.
  • Being overweight or obese. People struggling with obesity are more than twice as likely to develop a thrombus (blood clot in the leg) compared with people of a healthy weight.
  • Smoking. Smoking increases the risk of unwanted blood clots and makes it more likely that platelets will stick together.
  • Cancer. Conditions like cancer damage tissues and may trigger the blood clotting process.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease. People with IBD or Crohn’s disease are shown to be 3.4 times more likely to develop a blood clot.
  • A family history of the condition. If someone in the family has struggled with DVT and blood clots, the chances for you having the condition increase too.
  • Genetics. Inheriting certain clotting factors, like factor V Leiden, increases the risk of having certain blood clotting problems.
  • Unknown causes. In some cases, a blood clot may develop with no clear cause. This is called an unprovoked VTE.

A DVT treatment includes:

  • Medicines: Thrombolytics, Anticoagulant, Thrombin inhibitors
  • Compression socks
  • Surgery: Vena cava filter
  • Don’t smoke
  • Eat healthy
  • Exercise regularly
  • Maintain a healthy body weight
  • Loose clothing
  • Compression stockings
  • Blood thinners
  • Drink water

Pulmonary Embolism

A blockage in one of the pulmonary arteries of the lungs causes pulmonary embolism. Usually, pulmonary embolism develops when a blood clot gets stuck in the lung’s artery.

Pulmonary embolism symptoms can show up in different ways. The condition’s severity will depend on how much of your lung has been affected, the size of the clots, and whether you have a history of lung or heart diseases.

Common signs and symptoms of pulmonary embolism are:

  • Shortness of breath. Individuals struggle to breathe and have to put it in a lot of effort.
  • Chest pain. The sensation is akin to a heart attack. A sharp sensation can be felt when breathing that may prevent the individual from breathing deeply. These can be felt when coughing, bending or stooping.
  • Cough. A bloody or blood-streaked sputum may come out when coughing.

Other signs and symptoms that can occur include:

  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever
  • Leg pain or swelling, or both, usually in the calf caused by a deep vein thrombosis
  • Clammy or discolored skin (cyanosis)

Pulmonary embolism is caused by the blockage of a blood clot in an artery in the lungs.

In several cases, multiple clots can cause pulmonary embolism. The blocked arteries in the lung slow down and may die, resulting in a pulmonary infarction. This makes it difficult for your lungs to provide oxygen to the rest of your body.

 Blockages can be caused by substances other than blood clots, such as:

  • Fat from the marrow of a broken long bone
  • Part of a tumor
  • Air bubbles
  • A family history of the condition
  • Medical conditions and treatments:
    • Heart disease. Cardiovascular diseases, heart failure.
    • Cancer. Cancers of the brain, ovary, pancreas, colon, stomach, lung and kidney cancers, and cancers increase the risk of blood clots in addition to chemotherapy. Women with a family history of breast cancer taking tamoxifen or raloxifene are at higher risk of blood clots.
    • Surgery. The problem of blood clots is exacerbated by surgery. That’s why before and after surgery doctors give medication to prevent clots.
    • Disorders that affect clotting. Certain genetic disorders affect blood functioning, making it prone to clotting.
    • Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). COVID-19 patients suffering from severe symptoms are at an increased risk of developing the condition.
  • Prolonged immobility
    • Bed rest following surgery, a heart attack, leg fracture, trauma or any serious illness makes individuals susceptible to developing blood clots.
    • Sitting in an uncomfortable position for long periods during car trips restricts the blood flow in the legs, which contributes to the formation of clots.
  • Smoking. Smoking modifies the surface of blood platelets, making it easier for them to get stuck.
  • Obesity. Being overweight increases the risk of blood clots.
  • Excess estrogen. Women taking birth control pills and undergoing hormone replacement therapy can increase clotting factors in your blood.
  • Pregnancy. A baby’s weight pressing on the pelvis veins can slow blood flow from the legs. Clots are more likely to form when blood slows or pools.

Preventing clots in the deep veins in your legs (deep vein thrombosis) will help limit the development of pulmonary embolism. Certain measures are taken by hospitals to control the development of blood clots:

  • Blood thinners (anticoagulants). These medications are often given to people at risk of clots before and after an operation — as well as to people admitted to the hospital with medical conditions, such as heart attack, stroke or complications of cancer.
  • Compression stockings. These squeeze your legs and help your veins and leg muscles move blood better. Safe, simple and affordable, stockings can keep blood from stagnating.
  • Leg elevation. Elevating your legs during the day and night can go a long way in preventing blood clots. Simply raise the bottom of your bed 4 to 6 inches (10 to 15 cm) with blocks or books.
  • Physical activity. Begin moving around after surgery; physical exercise can control the growth of pulmonary embolism and speed up recovery.
  • Pneumatic compression. This method utilizes thigh-high or calf-high cuffs that inflate with air and deflate every few minutes to massage and squeeze the veins in your legs and improve blood flow.

Patients are our number one priority. We are committed to their health and wellbeing. It is this dedication that guides us to give our very best, and our multidisciplinary team of trained professionals work together to ensure quality care. If you’re showing any symptoms of Thrombotic Disorder listed above, consult the team of experts at Haemato Oncology Care Centre (HOCC) without any delay.

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