You may be familiar with the term “deep vein thrombosis” — a condition that can cause potentially dangerous and even lethal blood clots in the veins — but are you aware of how you can prevent them from happening? If you are a senior, then take notes, because as the information in this article will explain, prevention is key when it comes to keeping your body safe and free of this condition.
For starters, let me explain exactly what deep vein thrombosis is all about. Basically, this condition occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein that is hidden deep inside your body. I’m not talking about spider veins or varicose veins that you can see close to the surface of your skin. These are known as superficial venous thrombosis or phlebitis; they aren’t dangerous.
Instead, deep veins that are susceptible to this condition are often buried well within your body, past the layers of your skin. Deep vein clots usually occur in the lower leg and thigh, but they can happen in other parts of the body as well.
The main threat that this condition poses is if a clot that has developed in a deep vein in your thigh, for example, suddenly breaks off and moves up through your bloodstream, it can eventually make its way to one of your lungs. This then triggers a condition known as pulmonary embolism. It’s very serious and it can even prove to be fatal. A deep vein blood clot in the thigh is the biggest culprit of pulmonary embolism.
So what can you do to help prevent deep vein thrombosis from occurring and who is most at risk? Well, according to a new study, older adults and hospital patients are most at risk for this condition. The study notes that when it comes to prevention, using medication and compression stockings can lower the risk, along with physical therapy as well.
For example, in the study, which was conducted at Joseph Fourier University in Grenoble, France, 1,373 patients, who were 65 and up, were evaluated for deep vein thrombosis. The researchers looked at how the participants fared before and after undergoing evidence-based prevention techniques, according to set guidelines.
In the study, some patients who had just had surgery or a history of the condition were administered drugs for the condition, and the other participants underwent using compression stockings, physical therapy, and other preventive measures to help with the condition.
With the help of the guidelines, only eight percent of the participants developed deep vein thrombosis, whereas before the preventive measures were implemented, the number sat at 13%. Thanks to the guidelines, patients were more likely to use the compression stockings instead of turning to medication to help ease the condition.
Awareness is key — if you suffer from poor circulation or have a family history of the condition, be proactive and take the first step: Speak to your doctor if you are a senior and are concerned about deep vein thrombosis. He/she can advise you as to what the best course of action is, when it comes to prevention.