DVT, Pulmonary Embolism, and You

March is DVT awareness month and we at customerservice@supporthoseplus.com continue to give you information that could save your life!

A DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) is a blood clot which forms in a large vein. The DVT forms usually in the lower leg, thigh or pelvis. All or part of the clot can break off and travel through the circulatory system to the lungs. In the lungs the clot becomes a life-threatening complication called a Pulmonary Embolism.

A DVT can strike men or women of any age. Men and women have an equal risk for DVT, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given the Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF) a $1 million dollar grant to aggressively educate women about DVT over the next 5 years. Why women you ask?  Women make the majority of healthcare decisions for their families and they have unique risk factors due to hormonal changes from birth control methods, childbirth and menopause.

Roughly about 600,000 people in the United States are affected by DVT each year. About 100,000 die as a result of DVT. DVT kills more people every year than AIDS, breast cancer and traffic accidents combined! The public should know the risk factors for DVT and the symptoms of DVT so they may become their own activist and recognize when they should seek medical attention.

Consider the story of a young woman who had been working out a lot.  While sitting with friends she developed a painful cramp in her calf. Because of her increased physical activity she attributed the cramp to muscle strain. It was still hurting the next day and by the following morning, she could not put any pressure on the leg.

She went on line, put in her symptoms and came up with the results that she possibly had a DVT and should go the emergency room. Which she did, but the doctor was doubtful and upon her insistence ordered an ultrasound. The result was a diagnosis of DVT and a hospital admission.

Two pulmonary embolisms later testing revealed she had a genetic condition which resulted in the need to be on blood thinners for the rest of her life.

The moral to this story is don’t dismiss a cramp that doesn’t go away in a day. Even if you’re not exhibiting the “normal” symptoms of a blood clot, that doesn’t mean you don’t have one. If something does not feel normal, don’t let it go unchecked for days, deal with it immediately, and don’t let others dismiss your symptoms so easily. It could mean the difference between life and death.



  • Recent hospitalization for illness, surgery or injury
  • Personal history of clotting disorder or previous DVT
  • Increasing age
  • Cancer and cancer treatments
  • Pregnancy and the first 6 weeks after delivery
  • Hormone replacement therapy or birth control products
  • Family history of DVT
  • Extended bed rest
  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Prolonged sitting when traveling (longer than 6 to 8 hours)
  • Sedate Life Style

The more risk factors you have, the greater are your chances of developing a DVT.



  • Pain in the leg or pelvis region
  • Tenderness and swelling of the leg
  • Discoloration of the leg (reddish)
  • Areas of the leg or pelvis region that feel warm to the touch
  • Whole leg may swell

Symptoms of DVT can be similar to other conditions, like a pull muscle and can delay accurate diagnosis.
Some people may have no symptoms



  • Recent or sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or discomfort which worsens with a deep breath or coughing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Sudden collapse

If you have any of these symptoms, seek emergency medical help immediately.

Many cases of DVT can be prevented by:

  • Wearing your compression stockings or compression socks
  • Talking to your physician if you have any risk factors for DVT
  • Exercising regularly
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Not smoking
  • Move around as soon as you are able after long-term bed rest

When traveling or sitting for more than 6 hours

  • Wear your compression stockings or compression socks
  • Exercise your legs by activating calf muscles (make figure eights)
  • Walk at least every hour or two
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes
  • Drink plenty of water and limit alcohol and caffeine

I hope this information has made you more aware that DVT and Pulmonary Embolism are not age related diagnosis and of the dangers of DVT and Pulmonary Embolism,


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