About Venous Thrombo-Embolism
The likelihood of the formation of a blood clot increases if there is poor blood flow in the veins. Venous thromboembolism is generally sub-divided into two categories:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot in one of the deep veins within the body, such as in the leg or pelvis. This kind of thrombosis can occur after surgery and may cause redness, pain and swelling.
- Pulmonary embolism (PE) is a serious condition in which the arteries leading from the heart to the lungs becomes blocked. It can occur when a blood clot breaks away from its original location and travels to the lungs. Symptoms may include sharp chest pain, shortness of breath and coughing up blood.
Signs and symptoms
Common signs and symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis include:
- Swelling and redness of the leg.
- Dilation of veins in the leg.
- Feeling of warmth in the legs.
Common signs and symptoms of Pulmonary Embolism include:
- Sudden shortness of breath.
- Acute Chest pain.
- Coughing blood
- Leg swelling.
- Clammy or bluish-coloured skin.
- Excessive sweating.
- Rapid or irregular heartbeat.
- Weak pulse.
- Light-headedness or fainting.
What causes Thromboembolism?
Although anyone can develop blood clots, certain factors can increase your risk. Blood clots are more likely to form in your legs during periods of inactivity, such as being confined to bed for an extended period after surgery, and long journeys. The risk of developing blood clots also increases with age due to possible valve malfunction in the veins, dehydration and various medical problems. Research has also established that there can be a genetic predisposition toward developing blood clots, and a family history of this condition is likely to indicate that you are at risk. Certain medical conditions such as heart disease, certain cancers and pregnancy are also likely to increase your risk. Smoking and being overweight can also contribute to increasing your risk of developing blood clots.