March is DVT Awareness Month 2013 – What You Can Do To Prevent DVT

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is in the 3rd year of a program designed to raise awareness of DVT to women and their families. This year the CDC is focusing on the danger of DVT around trauma and surgery. The program targets women because they are at high risk and because they are very involved in decisions for the entire family. The program makes it clear that Deep Vein Thrombosis can be fatal and urges people who develop symptoms to seek help immediately.

If you anticipate a surgical procedure, you may want to ask if the hospital or physician offers preventive measures such as support stockings and anticoagulant therapy. Do they teach exercises or activities to reduce the risk of DVT? After surgery, as soon as your physician recommends increasing your mobility, do so to help prevent DVT.

According to a study from Oxford University patients recovering from surgery are at a high risk of DVT for much longer than previously thought. In this study it was found the likelihood of a patient to need hospital treatment for a DVT was 70 time higher than the norm. For those who had day surgery, the risk was 10 times higher than the norm. The danger was highest in the third week post-op, but continued for around 12 weeks.

DVT is not limited to women or men nor is age a limiting factor. A DVT can strike people from all walks of life with little warning. So keep your friends or loved ones health – tell them about DVT and how to prevent it by wearing compression hose and following a few tips…

  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Exercise your legs regularly when sitting or laying for long periods of time… This can be as simple as making figure 8’s with your feet or just walking for a few minutes
  • When sitting, stretch your legs and change position frequently.
  • Take a deep breath frequently.
  • Elevate your legs whenever possible.
  • Be careful about chairs and leg rests that compress the calf or behind the knee.
  • Avoid excessive alcohol intake (it dehydrates the body).
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Wear loose, non-binding clothes when traveling.
  • If you have family members with multiple DVT’s and they have been diagnosed as having a clotting disorder, consider being tested yourself.
  • If you are having surgery, discuss the possibility of DVT with you physician. Many physicians are happy that you are proactive.
  • If you are pregnant, wear compression stockings during your pregnancy and for 6 weeks postpartum.
  • Above all…wear compression stocking or support socks to increase your circulation.

If you have had a DVT and would like to share your experience, please scroll to the bottom and leave a comment as a guest.

Spread the word…Most DVT’s are preventable,


2 Responses

  1. Hi, I am 37 years old. I decided to have a mommy makeover Jan 2. My family was worried about me having it. I told them I will be fine. Well Jan 11 I started to have pains in left leg thinking maybe fluid was trapped and could not get to the port so the nurse told me to elevate my legs so I did during the night my leg started hurting worse. The next day I could hardly walk so I called the surgeon and she told me to go to the ER and have them do an ultra sound to see if I have a DVT.
    The ER admitted me and did the ultrasound. The nurse told me I had a DVT so then they had to put me on heparin and gave me morphine for the pain in my leg. Then they wanted to do a cat scan on my lungs and sure enough the clot in my leg broke up into pieces and had traveled to my lungs.
    I was in the hospital for 5 days. They had me on heparin, lovenox, and warfarin. I was so depressed and crying everyday. Especially hearing the docs tell me I made it in just enough time because it could have been fatal.
    I am still scared even if my INR has been in therapeutic range for over a month now. I get scared when my leg starts to hurt. I freak out if i cant get out of the vehicle to walk after 30 mins. I still have 3.5 more months until I am off of the warfarin. After that they have to run all the genetic test on me. I had the surgery to make me skinny but now because I can’t eat all the greens that I love to eat I am starting to gain. It is like I had the surgery and going through all this for nothing. I wear my compression stockings all the time and hate that I have to take them off to shower it just worries me. Am I over doing it with the worrying?

    • Hi Kristie,
      Thank you for telling us your story. I hear about situations similar to yours quite often. I can understand why you are scared. You are on top of the things you need to be doing and you know the signs if you get in trouble again. You are at the point where you have to be proactive…walk, walk, walk and wear your compression stockings. You are not going to get a dvt while taking a shower! Your problem originated because you had surgery and were inactive. Just keep walking and it will help to keep the weight off. Thank you again for sharing!

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