One of the great benefits of being a health advocate is that with each article, I learn something new. Most of the time, this knowledge becomes great trivia, tucked safely away in my mental filing cabinet under the things-to-remember-just-in-case category.
Every once in a while, life happens and I find myself frantically scrambling through the layers of dust, grateful the just-in-case file is still intact. Such was the case recently when our family experienced our own real life reality check with deep vein thrombosis, or DVT.
The DVT adventure began when my husband finally admitted something was wrong and went in for tests to see what was going on with his veins. He learned -- despite his denial -- that he was no longer bullet-proof, when the technician came in announced that he had a DVT and that they had called an ambulance.
Despite a love of fast cars, he declined their kind offer for a high speed ride to the hospital. Lest the naughty boy try to hide it from me, his doctor called me at home to stress how serious DVT was and that he needed to come to the hospital right away.
Fortunately, we were very lucky. Thanks to EmpowHER, my filing cabinet was full of information on DVT that helped us navigate some of the decisions that had to be made rather quickly. Not everyone is so fortunate.
Below you’ll find some basic information about DVT. While not meant to be exhaustive, the information may come in handy if you’re ever faced with your own DVT emergency.
What is DVT?
In its simplest terms, a DVT is simply a blood clot, also referred to as thrombosis, which occurs in one of the deep veins of the body hence the name deep vein thrombosis. While it can occur in any deep vein, it’s frequently found in the deep veins of the legs.
Why is DVT so serious? What are the side effects?
DVT is an extremely serious and life-threatening condition. If the blood clot dislodges, it can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism which may lead to low oxygen levels, pulmonary hypertension, damage to other organs in the body, and death.