Medicine – DVT (deep vein thrombosis)

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  • 2018 09 Medicine, DVT
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DVT (deep vein thrombosis) is the medical term for blood clots in the deep veins of the leg. DVTs can be dangerous. After a DVT originally forms in one leg, it can travel to the lungs and block blood vessels there. This is called pulmonary embolism or PE. After a pulmonary embolism, breathing may become difficult. A patient even could die after a particularly severe pulmonary embolism.
You can help yourself and prevent a DVT (a deep vein thrombosis). Prolonged sitting is the leading cause of DVTs. Often you sit too long in an airplane. Avoid prolonged sitting, not only during flights, but generally. Smoke not just before your trip. Do not wear tight clothing. Move your legs and feet liberally and often. If your doctor has prescribed compression stockings, wear them. Avoid too much alcohol. Drink plenty of water. Be more physically active, especially during air travel, but generally speaking in your daily life.
The treatment of DVT did not change in 2017. It still consists of a blood-thinning tablet, abbreviated DOAC.
But two clinical studies have investigated two detail points:
Firstly, in cases where the doctor is sure that a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is limited only to the calves, we seriously can consider to abandon treatment completely, because treatment is no more effective than no treatment and leads to side effects.
Secondly, after a DVT which is not limited to the calves, that is, the DVT is the thighs (i.e. the more dangerous kind of DVT), an additional mechanical treatment with a catheter (the exact name is, pharmacomechanical treatment) is not warranted. Taking only the blood thinning tablet is sufficient.


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