Deep vein thrombosis
Doctor visit mandatoryWith thrombosis, a blood clot (thrombus) blocks a blood vessel, causing only a little blood to flow through the vessel. Therefore, you must consult your doctor in case of any suspicion of a deep vein thrombosis.
Blood clots form primarily in the
The risk of a
- Aching, dragging pain
- Redness or blue discolouration of the skin
- Feeling of tension and swelling
- the blood's flow rate slows down, for example, during confinement to bed or on long-haul flights
- the walls of the blood vessel have changed
- the blood has a high clotting susceptibility.
Who has a higher risk of suffering a deep vein thrombosis?
- pre-existing venous disease
- coagulation disorder
- Birth control pill usage
- confinement to bed
- unusual physical exertion
How you can prevent deep vein thrombosis (thrombosis prophylaxis)Your doctor decides on the type of medication, the dosage, the dosage form and the treatment period.
The objective of all physical measures is to improve venous return flow. There are various ways and means of achieving this objective:
- Medical thrombosis prophylaxis stockings (standardized compression)
- Circular bandaging (non-standardized compression)
- Lower leg, wrap-around compression system
Further examples of physical prophylactic measures are
early mobilization, mobilization treatment and elevation of the legs.
Your contact in case of deep vein thrombosis
- General practitioner
- Vein specialist
- Attending physician and nursing staff if hospitalized
How is a deep vein thrombosis treated?Many patients do not notice severe thromboses at first. This is particularly dangerous because the blood clot that has precipitated the deep vein thrombosis can become dislodged again. If it reaches the lung, it can cause a life-threatening pulmonary embolism.
Treatment gives highest priority to:
- stopping the thrombosis growing
- removing the thrombosis
- preventing a pulmonary embolism
- preventing post-thrombotic syndrome (permanent damage to the venous valves).
The treatment strategy includes:
- Basic measures, such as correct positioning or mobilization and compression therapy
- Medication to make the blood thinner, such as heparin or Marcumar
- Thrombolysis to break down the blood clot (thrombus)
- Possibly an operation to remove the clot
Compression treatmentAfter a patient has been diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis, compression garments are prescribed alongside treatment with drugs. These exert mechanical pressure on the veins from the outside. They decrease the diameter of the vein and blood flows back quicker. The pressure on the leg follows a controlled gradient; it is strongest at the ankle and decreases up the leg. Later, doctors will check the extent to which return transport of the blood is still impaired. The doctor can then advise you as to whether the compression treatment must be continued or whether you can stop wearing the garments all together.
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