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Venous thrombosis is a serious condition that can cause life-threatening complications. Usually, it occurs when a blood clot forms in any of the deep veins of the body. Such cases may often become dangerous, especially if the clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs, causing conditions like pulmonary embolism. Therefore, knowing the risk factors, symptoms, and treatments for venous thrombosis is essential for proper prevention and management. Read on to explore everything you need to know about venous thrombosis.

What is venous thrombosis?

Venous thrombosis is a medical condition in which a blood clot forms inside a vein, often in the legs or arms. The clot can prevent blood from flowing through the vein, causing pain and swelling. Typically, the most common type of venous thrombosis is deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). While they have a similar genesis, they encompass different areas of the body.

What is deep vein thrombosis (DVT)?

DVT is a clot that forms within a deep vein, typically in the leg. The clot blocks blood flow, leading to swelling, pain, and tenderness. The clot may break loose and travel to other parts like the lungs. Consequently, it can cause PE.

What is pulmonary embolism (PE)?

PE is a life-threatening condition in which a blood clot travels to the lungs, blocking the pulmonary artery and preventing oxygen from reaching the lungs. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, and coughing up blood.

What’s the difference between DVT and PE?

Although DVT and PE are severe medical conditions, they require different treatments. Usually, medical experts treat DVT with anticoagulant medications to prevent blood clots from forming. On the other hand, PE requires medications to dissolve existing clots.

Risk factors

Arguably, some of the most common risk factors for venous thrombosis include taking birth control pills or undergoing surgery. However, being inactive for extended periods may lead to thrombosis conditions, too. Besides, having an inherited condition that affects blood clotting or having inflammatory bowel disease can contribute to developing the condition.

Typically, pregnant women are at an increased risk of developing venous thrombosis because of the increased pressure on their vena cava. Moreover, people who have experienced trauma to their veins or recently had an IV catheter may be at risk. In this regard, it is crucial to be aware of these risk factors to reduce your chances of developing thrombosis.

Symptoms of venous thrombosis

Undoubtedly, venous thrombosis can cause dangerous complications. Some symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, lightheadedness, and coughing up blood. If you experience such symptoms, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately. Here is a complete list of the signs that may give you a hint:

  • Swelling in the affected limb
  • Pain and tenderness in the affected area
  • A feeling of warmth in the area
  • Red or discolored skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood.
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness

In some cases, people with thrombosis may not experience any symptoms. In this regard, you must be aware of your risk factors and get regular checkups.