Symptoms of a blood clot in lower leg: Symptoms in Legs, Lungs, and More
Symptoms in Legs, Lungs, and More
Ever get a paper cut or nick yourself while shaving? When that happens, a blood clot saves the day. It quickly stops the bleeding, and when it’s done its job, it usually breaks up. Sometimes, though, things can go wrong.
When blood clots don’t fall apart, they can be dangerous and lead to serious medical conditions. You can get them in blood vessels in just about any part of your body. They’re most likely to affect a leg, especially if you sit for long periods of time.
You might get a clot in your arteries, which carry oxygen in your blood from your heart to all the cells of your body. The result can be really serious. It can keep oxygen from getting to your heart, lungs, or brain, and cause a life-threatening emergency, like a heart attack or stroke.
You could also get a clot in the veins that carry blood back to your heart. When that happens, symptoms usually come on more gradually, but can still mean trouble.
If you learn the warning signs, you’re more likely to get quick medical help that can make a huge difference in keeping you out of the danger zone. But it’s important to know that in some cases, clots can happen with few symptoms or none at all..
See More: Dos and Don’ts of a Blood Clot
When a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins in your arm or leg, way beneath your skin’s surface, it could be something called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). That’s dangerous because the clot could travel to your heart or lungs.
You’re more likely to get a DVT if you haven’t moved around for a long time, say after surgery or during a long plane trip. Get medical help right away if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Swelling. This can happen in the exact spot where the blood clot forms, or your entire leg or arm could puff up.
- Change in color. You might notice that your arm or leg takes on a red or blue tinge, or gets or itchy.
- Pain. As the clot gets worse, you may hurt or get sore. The feeling can range from a dull ache to intense pain. You may notice the pain throbs in your leg, belly, or even your arm.
- Warm skin. The skin around painful areas or in the arm or leg with the DVT may feel warmer than other skin.
- Trouble breathing. If this happens, it could mean that the clot has moved from your arm or leg to your lungs. You may also get a bad cough, and might even cough up blood. You may get pain in your chest or feel dizzy. Call 911 to get medical help right away.
- Lower leg cramp. If the clot is in your calf or lower leg, you may feel like you have a cramp or charley horse.
- Pitting edema. DVT can cause fluid buildup (edema) in the arms or legs. It typically happens quite quickly with DVT. When you press on the swollen area, it can cause a dimple or “pit” (pitting) that remains for a few seconds.
- Swollen, painful veins. The pain may increase with touch.
A blood clot that forms in or around your ticker may cause a heart attack. Watch out for symptoms like these:
A blood clot in your lung usually starts out in a deep vein in your arm or leg, then breaks off and travels to your lung. When this happens, you get what’s called a pulmonary embolism, an extremely dangerous condition.
Get medical help right away if you:
- Feel short of breath or have problems breathing
- Get pain in your chest
- Start to cough
- Begin to sweat
- Feel dizzy
Blood clots here may be caused by fatty deposits in the walls of the blood vessels that bring blood to your brain. Or sometimes, they may form because of a blow to your head that leads to a concussion.
In other cases, a clot that starts out in a different part of your body, like your chest or neck, might enter your bloodstream and travel to your brain, where it can cause a stroke.
Watch out for these symptoms:
- Problems with your vision or speech
- A seizure
- General feeling of weakness
Blood clots can happen in the veins that drain blood from your intestines. They can be caused by conditions like diverticulitis or liver disease, or even by birth control pills.
How will you know if this is going on? Check with your doctor if you have problems like these:
A blood clot in your kidneys can keep them from removing waste from your body. That can cause high blood pressure or even kidney failure.
This is dangerous, so look out for these symptoms:
Types of Blood Clots
Blood clots are jelly-like masses of blood. They can occur in arteries or veins in your heart, brain, lungs, abdomen, arms, and legs.
You need your blood to clot when you’re cut or injured. It helps stop bleeding. Most of the time, your body breaks down the clot after your wound has healed. But sometimes, they don’t dissolve on their own. When this happens, it can lead to serious health problems.
There are two main types of clots:
- Thrombus:Blood clots can be stationary. That means they don’t move. But they can block blood flow. Doctors call this type of clot a thrombosis.
- Embolus: Blood clots can also break loose. Doctors call these embolisms. They’re dangerous because they can travel to other parts of the body
Symptoms differ depending on the location of the clot. In some cases, the clot may have formed in one place (thrombus), in others, it might have broken off and moved elsewhere through your blood (embolus).
- Arms or legs: Red and warm where clot is. Swelling, tenderness, and pain like an intense cramp.
- Abdomen: Serious stomach pain, diarrhea, and vomiting.
- Heart:Breathing problems, nausea, dizziness, sweating, or pain and heaviness in the chest.
- Lungs: You may cough up blood and notice a racing heart, shortness of breath, sweating, fever, and sharp chest pain.
- Brain:Headache, dizziness, and difficulty with talking and seeing clearly. You also may notice weakness in your face, arms, or legs.
Clots are also classified by where they form in the first place.
These form in your arteries — the blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart.
Arterial clots block blood and oxygen from reaching your vital organs. They can lead to tissue damage.
Often, they occur in your legs and feet. Sometimes, they happen in your brain, where they can lead to stroke. Or, they may form in your heart, where they can cause a heart attack.
Arterial clots can also take root in your kidneys, intestines, or eyes, though this is rare.
You may not have any at first. As the clot grows or blocks more of your blood flow, you might notice any of the following:
- Cold arm or leg
- Fingers or hands that feel cool to the touch
- Muscle pain or spasm in the affected area
- Numbness or tingling in your arm or leg
- Weakness of the affected limb
- Loss of color in the affected limb
These form in your veins. They tend to develop slowly. That’s why you might not know you have one until it causes problems.
There are three types of blood clots that form in the veins — superficial venous thrombosis, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), and pulmonary embolism (PE).
Superficial venous thrombosis. This is a blood clot that forms in a vein close to the surface of the skin. They don’t normally break loose and travel through the bloodstream. But they can be painful and need treatment.
DVT, or deep vein thrombosis. This is also called a “venous thrombosis.” It’s a blood clot that forms in a major vein deep in your body. It usually happens in your lower leg, thigh, or pelvis. But it can also form in other parts of your body, like your arm, brain, intestines, liver, or kidney.
Pulmonary embolism. This type of blood clot is a medical emergency. It’s a DVT that breaks off and travels up your leg to your lungs, where it gets stuck. It can be fatal.
If your vein is near your skin’s surface (superficial venous thrombosis), these may include:
- Painful, swollen, inflamed skin over the affected vein
- A vein that feels hard or painfully tender to the touch
- Red skin over the affected vein
If you have a DVT, you may notice the following:
- The affected leg is swollen (sometimes both legs swell).
- You have a cramping pain or soreness in your leg, usually in the calf. It may be worse when you bend your foot back toward your knee.
- There’s an aching, heavy feeling in the affected leg.
- The skin in the area of the clot is warm or red.
A DVT is a medical emergency. See your doctor right away if you notice these symptoms.
Left untreated, a DVT can turn into a pulmonary embolism. Call 911 if you have pain, swelling, or tenderness in your leg, and:
- You can’t breathe.
- You have chest pain.
Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention
What Is a Charley Horse?
A charley horse is a muscle spasm — when a muscle suddenly tightens up on its own. These cramps can happen anywhere in your body. They’re common in your legs.
Charley Horse Causes
Things that can trigger a charley horse include:
Muscle cramps are also a side effect of some drugs, such as:
- Furosemide (Lasix), hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide), and other diuretics (“water pills”) that take fluid out of your body
- Donepezil (Aricept), used to treat Alzheimer’s disease
- Neostigmine (Prostigmine), used for myasthenia gravis
- Nifedipine (Procardia), a treatment for angina and high blood pressure
- Raloxifene (Evista), an osteoporosis treatment
- Asthma medications terbutaline (Brethine) and albuterol (Proventil, Ventolin)
- Tolcapone (Tasmar), which helps treat Parkinson’s disease
- Statin medications for cholesterol, such as atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor), or simvastatin (Zocor)
Charley Horse Risk Factors
Certain people tend to get charley horses more often:
Charley Horse Diagnosis
You don’t need to see your doctor unless you have a charley horse along with one of these conditions:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. They’ll also do a physical exam. They might order blood tests, muscle tests, or MRI exams to look for a health condition that can cause cramps.
Charley Horse Treatment
If you get a charley horse in your calf or in the back of your thigh (hamstring), put your weight on the affected leg and bend your knee slightly. Or sit or lie down with your leg out straight and pull the top of your foot toward your head.
For a cramp in the front of your thigh (quadriceps), hold on to a chair and bend the knee of the affected leg. Pull your foot up toward your buttock.
Massage, a bath with Epsom salts, or a heating pad can relax the muscle. To fight pain, use an ice pack or take an over-the-counter medication like ibuprofen or naproxen.
In most cases, the charley horse will stop within a few minutes. But if you get them often and for no clear reason, tell your doctor.
Charley Horse Prevention
To help stop cramps before they start:
- Eat more foods high in vitamins and magnesium.
- Stay hydrated.
- Stretch daily and before exercise. Stretching before exercise can help prevent tight muscles. Daily stretching can help with cramps caused by other things.
- Wear comfortable shoes.
- Limit how much alcohol you drink.
- Ramp up your exercise slowly rather than all at once.
- Don’t exercise right after you eat.
- Don’t smoke.
What’s Causing It? Could It Be Hyperhidrosis?
UpToDate: “Primary focal hyperhidrosis,” “Approach to the patient with night sweats,” “Menopausal hot flashes,” “Treatment of menopausal symptoms with hormone therapy.”
American Academy of Dermatology: “Hyperhidrosis,” “12 summer skin problems you can prevent,” “Acne: Tips for Managing,” “10 skin care habits that can worsen acne.”
Mayo Clinic: “Hyperhidrosis,” “Perimenopause,” “Peripheral neuropathy,” “Hyperthyroidism,” “Diabetic hypoglycemia,” “Autonomic neuropathy,” “Generalized anxiety disorder,” “Analgesic Combination, Acetaminophen/Salicylate (Oral Route),” “Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs),” “Tricyclic antidepressants and tetracyclic antidepressants,” “Hot flashes,” “Niacin. “
Harvard Health Publications: “Menopause-related hot flashes and night sweats can last for years.”
International Hyperhidrosis Society: “Understanding Sweating,” “Antiperspirant Basics,” “Tips for Best Results-OTC,” “Sweaty Face and Head,” “Medications,” “Endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS),” “Night Sweats,” “Alternative Therapies,” “Sweating Everywhere,” “Laundry Solutions,” “Understanding Sweating.”
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia: “Hyperhidrosis.”
CMAJ: “Focal hyperhidrosis: diagnosis and management.”
Medscape: “Hypoglycemia,” “Hyperhidrosis Workup,” “bupropion (Rx).”
Joslin Diabetes Center: “Avoiding Nighttime Lows.”
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: “Nerve Damage (Diabetic Neuropathies),” “Prescription Medications to Treat Overweight and Obesity.”
Chinese Journal of Physiology: “Uric acid and urea in human sweat.”
Cancer Research UK: “Causes of sweating.”
HIV.gov: “How Can I Tell If I Have HIV?”
CDC: “Tuberculosis,” “Keep Your Cool in Hot Weather,” “Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight,” Physical Activity for a Healthy Weight.”
American Family Physician: “Diagnosing Night Sweats.”
Drug Safety: “Drug-induced hyperhidrosis and hyperhidrosis: incidence, prevention and management.”
Marshfield Clinic Health System: Shine365: “Night sweats: When to be concerned.”
Frontiers in Bioscience (Scholar Edition): “Opioid, cannabinoid, and transient receptor potential (TRP) systems: effects on body temperature.”
Frontiers in Bioscience: “Effects of opioids, cannabinoids, and vanilloids on body temperature.”
FamilyDoctor.org: “Opioid Addiction,” “Hyperhidrosis.”
Alzheimer’s Association: “Medications for Memory Loss. “
ClinicalTrials.gov: “Excessive Sweating Caused by Antidepressants: Measurement and Treatment With Glycopyrrolate (AIDES-G) (AIDES-G).”
Drugs – Real World Outcomes: “Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors and Night Sweats in a Primary Care Population.”
Cleveland Clinic: “Night Sweats and Women’s Health: Possible Causes,” “4 Simple Steps to Get You Back to Sleep Fast,” “Hyperhidrosis.”
American Osteopathic Association: “Don’t Lose Sleep Over Night Sweats.”
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Patient Education Fact Sheet: Hormone Therapy.”
Climacteric: “Efficacy of phytoestrogens for menopausal symptoms: a meta-analysis and systematic review.”
Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation: “The effect of vitamin E on hot flashes in menopausal women.”
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health: “Evening Primrose Oil,” “Acupuncture.”
The North American Menopause Society: “Natural Remedies for Hot Flashes.”
Lymphoma Association: “Coping with symptoms of lymphoma.”
Dermatologic Therapy: “Biofeedback, cognitive-behavioral methods, and hypnosis in dermatology: is it all in your mind?”
Acupuncture in Medicine: “Acupuncture for primary hyperhidrosis: case series.”
NHS Choices: “Excessive sweating (hyperhidrosis),” “Alcohol misuse.”
TeensHealth: “What Can I Do About Sweating?”
Journal of Applied Physiology: “Explained variance in the thermoregulatory responses to exercise: the independent roles of biophysical and fitness/fatness-related factors.”
Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology: “Primary hyperhidrosis increases the risk of cutaneous infection: a case-control study of 387 patients. “
ChemMatters: “Hot Peppers: Muy Caliente!”
Brain Research: “Caffeine and the central nervous system: mechanisms of action, biochemical, metabolic and psychostimulant effects.”
International: “Hyperhidrosis — Causes and Treatment of Enhanced Sweating.”
Stanford University: Office of Alcohol Policy and Education: “Factors That Affect How Alcohol is Absorbed.”
Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots
Signs and Symptoms of Blood Clots: Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE)
Deep Vein Thrombosis:
Signs and Symptoms
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins of your body, usually in your legs, but sometimes in your arm. The signs and symptoms of a DVT include:
- Swelling, usually in one leg (or arm)
- Leg pain or tenderness often described as a cramp or Charley horse
- Reddish or bluish skin discoloration
- Leg (or arm) warm to touch
These symptoms of a blood clot may feel similar to a pulled muscle or a “Charley horse,” but may differ in that the leg (or arm) may be swollen, slightly discolored, and warm.
Contact your doctor as soon as you can if you have any of these symptoms, because you may need treatment right away. If you need help finding a doctor, please click here.
Learn more about how a DVT is diagnosed here.
Signs and Symptoms
Clots can break off from a DVT and travel to the lung, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal. The signs and symptoms of a PE include:
- Sudden shortness of breath
- Chest pain-sharp, stabbing; may get worse with deep breath
- Rapid heart rate
- Unexplained cough, sometimes with bloody mucus
Call an ambulance or 911 immediately for treatment in the ER if you experience these PE symptoms.
Learn more about how a PE is diagnosed here.
The most important thing you can do to prevent blood clots is to learn if you are at risk. Learn more about blood clot risks here: Know Your Risk
Blood clots are serious, but they can also be prevented. Find out how you can prevent blood clots here: Prevent Blood Clots
Blood clots by the numbers: Get the facts
Connect with others who have experienced a blood clot here: Patient Stories
Join our online discussion community and connect with other people who have experienced a blood clot.
Know the 5 Warning Signs of a DVT Blood Clot in Your Leg
Last Updated: September 18, 2020
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Recognizing a DVT blood clot early can prevent potential complications.
Everyone needs to know about DVT (deep vein thrombosis) blood clots because anyone can get one. If your risk is higher than normal, you need to be especially diligent about paying attention to the warning signs. Catching the problem early and seeking prompt treatment can prevent dangerous complications. It can also help you avoid long-term problems and disability. But it’s not always easy to recognize DVT symptoms. In fact, some people experience very mild symptoms. They may not realize they have a potentially life-threatening disease. Here are the five symptoms you shouldn’t ignore.
1. Leg Swelling
Pain is another warning sign of a DVT blood clot. Like swelling, it usually only affects one leg and commonly starts in the calf. The pain may feel more like soreness, tenderness or achiness rather than a stabbing kind of pain. You may notice the pain is worse when you are walking or standing for periods of time. People sometimes mistake the pain for a pulled muscle or another muscle injury. But pain from a DVT blood clot will tend to get worse and not better with time or rest.
2. Leg Pain
Pain is another warning sign of a DVT blood clot. Like swelling, it usually only affects one leg and commonly starts in the calf. The pain may feel more like soreness, tenderness or achiness rather than a stabbing kind of pain. You may notice the pain is worse when you are walking or standing for periods of time. People sometimes mistake the pain for a pulled muscle or another muscle injury. But pain from a DVT blood clot will tend to get worse and not better with time or rest.
3. Muscle Cramping
Most people have experienced muscle cramping in a leg at some point in time. Typically, it’s a charley horse that strikes at night and only lasts a few minutes. A DVT blood clot can cause a calf cramp that feels a lot like a charley horse. Like leg pain, the cramping sensation with DVT will persist and even worsen with time. It won’t clear up with stretching or walking it off like an ordinary charley horse. Some people get thigh cramps or feel a throbbing sensation along with the cramping.
4. Skin Warmth
Many of the symptoms of DVT are due to blocked blood flow. Skin warmth is one of them. This is because instead of blood circulating normally, it backs up and fills progressively more of the outer veins, which warms the area. The skin in the region of a DVT blood clot may feel warm to the touch. The warmth may be limited to the area right over the vein. It may be noticeably warmer than surrounding skin that has a normal temperature. Sometimes, the whole calf or limb will be warmer than the other one.
5. Color Changes
A DVT blood clot can cause color changes in the skin over and surrounding the vein. You may notice skin redness along with the pain or swelling. But the skin can also have different discolorations, such as a bluish or dark appearance. This is due to blocked blood flow in the area. Like other DVT symptoms, the color change will persist instead of resolving with time.
Seek immediate medical care if you suspect a DVT blood clot.
Many of the symptoms of DVT, such as redness, swelling and pain, are common to other conditions. However, a DVT blood clot is a medical emergency. It can lead to a life-threatening complication called a pulmonary embolism (PE). If you have symptoms that could mean a blood clot, err on the side of caution and seek immediate medical care. It’s better to get care and it turn out to be nothing serious than to delay care and risk your health, or even your life.
Know the 5 Warning Signs of a DVT Blood Clot in Your Leg
Sarah Lewis is a pharmacist and a medical writer with over 25 years of experience in various areas of pharmacy practice. Sarah holds a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy degree from West Virginia University and a Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. She completed Pharmacy Practice Residency training at the University of Pittsburgh/VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System.
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Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS
Last Review Date: 2020 Sep 18
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
How to Spot and Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis
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When the Clot Thickens
Lots of things can cause pain and swelling in your leg. But if your symptoms stem from a blood clot deep in your leg, it can be dangerous. Blood clots can happen to anyone, anytime. But some people are at increased risk. Taking steps to reduce your chances of a blood clot forming in your veins can help you avoid potentially serious problems.
Blood clots can arise anywhere in your body. They develop when blood thickens and clumps together. When a clot forms in a vein deep in the body, it’s called deep vein thrombosis. Deep vein blood clots typically occur in the lower leg or thigh.
“Deep vein thrombosis has classic symptoms—for example swelling, pain, warmth, and redness on the leg,” says Dr. Andrei Kindzelski, an NIH blood disease expert. “But about 30–40% of cases go unnoticed, since they don’t have typical symptoms.” In fact, some people don’t realize they have a deep vein clot until it causes a more serious condition.
Deep vein clots—especially those in the thigh—can break off and travel through the bloodstream. If a clot lodges in an artery in the lungs, it can block blood flow and lead to a sometimes-deadly condition called pulmonary embolism. This disorder can damage the lungs and reduce blood oxygen levels, which can harm other organs as well.
Some people are more at risk for deep vein thrombosis than others. “Usually people who develop deep vein thrombosis have some level of thrombophilia, which means their blood clots more rapidly or easily,” Kindzelski says. Getting a blood clot is usually the first sign of this condition because it’s hard to notice otherwise. In these cases, lifestyle can contribute to a blood clot forming—if you don’t move enough, for example. Your risk is higher if you’ve recently had surgery or broken a bone, if you’re ill and in bed for a long time, or if you’re traveling for a long time (such as during long car or airplane rides).
Having other diseases or conditions can also raise your chances of a blood clot. These include a stroke, paralysis (an inability to move), chronic heart disease, high blood pressure, surgical procedure, or having been recently treated for cancer. Women who take hormone therapy pills or birth control pills, are pregnant, or within the first 6 weeks after giving birth are also at higher risk. So are those who smoke or who are older than 60. But deep vein thrombosis can happen at any age.
You can take simple steps to lower your chances for a blood clot. Exercise your lower leg muscles if you’re sitting for a long time while traveling. Get out of bed and move around as soon as you’re able after having surgery or being ill. The more active you are, the better your chance of avoiding a blood clot. Take any medicines your doctor prescribes to prevent clots after some types of surgery.
A prompt diagnosis and proper treatment can help prevent the complications of blood clots. See your doctor immediately if you have any signs or symptoms of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism (see the Wise Choices box). A physical exam and other tests can help doctors determine whether you’ve got a blood clot.
There are many ways to treat deep vein thrombosis. Therapies aim to stop the blood clot from getting bigger, prevent the clot from breaking off and moving to your lungs, or reduce your chance of having another blood clot. NIH scientists continue to research new medicines and better treatment options.
If you think you may be at risk for deep vein thrombosis, talk with your doctor.
90,000 Why are blood clots dangerous and why do they occur?
This word has probably been heard by many people with venous diseases. Moreover, doctors often describe blood clots as one of the health threats.
They are right.
Blood clots – are blood clots that interfere with blood circulation and sometimes endanger life.
But how do such harmful formations appear in the body?
Did the body take up arms against us?
Blood clots can indeed be very dangerous, but not always. Initially, they serve to protect blood vessels – prevent blood loss in case of injury and trauma.
The body reacts to damage – next to them blood clots form in a gel-like or semi-solid state. These clots close the wound. Then the damage heals, and the protection from the blood cells gradually dissolves.
This is how events should develop ideally.
Unfortunately, sometimes blood clots remain in the vessels for too long and interfere with blood circulation.
The defense mechanism makes other errors as well. Often, a blood clot in a leg or other part of the body appears even for no reason. It ceases to protect the vessels and turns into a serious threat that can lead to death.
Blood clots form not only in the veins, but also in the arteries. Arterial blood clots cause severe pain or paralysis of a part of the body. Sometimes both. Signs of a blood clot are immediate and the patient needs immediate treatment. Otherwise, a heart attack or stroke will occur.
Venous blood clots are also dangerous, although they do not attack vital organs instantly – they grow slowly, but with timely treatment they do not cause fatal complications.
The most severe form of venous blood clots is deep vein thrombosis.
Complications of deep vein thrombosis
According to research, every fourth person dies from thrombosis. That is, this killer has more victims than car accidents, breast cancer or AIDS.
Fatal complications often develop with deep vein thrombosis.This is the name of a disease in which blood clots occur in the largest veins of the legs, arms, lungs, pelvis and brain.
Why is it dangerous?
The main cause of is deep vein thrombosis, which often causes pulmonary embolism. That is, a fragment of a blood clot enters the bloodstream and floats to the heart, and along the way it can get stuck in the vessels of the lungs. In this case, breathing may stop. Up to 30% of patients with pulmonary embolism die.
As you can see, if a blood clot in the leg comes off, the consequences can be tragic and people with this pathology need immediate help.
But the high risk of embolism is only part of the problem.
The disease is still difficult to detect.
Only 50% of patients show signs of deep vein thrombosis:
- Increased sensitivity
- Skin redness
Even these symptoms are similar to signs of other diseases, and it is difficult for the doctor to diagnose. Thrombosis betrays itself as symptoms that are concentrated in one limb, but if there are symptoms on two legs, then another disease causes them.Most likely. This is not a guarantee, but such features help the doctor diagnose.
Usually, the appearance depends on the size of the thrombus in the leg. Small blood clots cause only slight swelling and mild pain. Large blood clots are another matter. Around the vessels with such formations, the skin swells greatly, and the patient often experiences acute pain.
Pulmonary embolism symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain, especially severe with deep breaths and coughing
- Rapid heartbeat
- Dizziness and fainting
- Cough with blood
Fragments of blood clots in the lungs are not the only complication of deep vein thrombosis.Also, patients suffer from post-phlebitis syndrome, which occurs when the venous valves are damaged. With it, bleeding slows down.
- Leg pain
- Persistent edema
- Skin discoloration
Remember the symptoms of thrombosis and its complications – this will help you see a doctor in time for a full diagnosis.
How to identify a blood clot in the leg
Again, only half of the patients show signs of thrombosis.Therefore, many people live for years with blood clots in deep veins and are unaware of the disease and its deadly complications.
It is impossible to diagnose blood clots at home. You need to go to the doctor.
We recommend that you visit a phlebologist regularly to check your veins. Even without symptoms of leg thrombosis. So you will not only save yourself from possible discomfort, but also prevent complications that are often fatal.
If signs of a detached blood clot in the leg are noticeable, then going to the doctor is not a luxury, but an urgent need.Every day of delay may be the last. People die from pulmonary embolism. Sometimes in hospitals. Without urgent help, a person with breathing disorders is at great risk, so if you have symptoms of the disease, be sure to go through an examination with a phlebologist.
The doctor will carry out diagnostics using ultrasound equipment and identify any irregularities in the work of the vessels. Both in the legs and in other organs.
The phlebologist will also explain the cause of the thrombosis.
Why does deep vein thrombosis occur?
Blood clots in the vessels are formed for three main reasons:
- Damage to the venous walls
- Circulatory disorders
- Hypercoagulability – increased blood clotting
These problems arise from a variety of risk factors.They do not guarantee the occurrence of deep vein thrombosis, but they significantly increase the likelihood of the disease.
Most common risk factors:
- Long immobility
When a person sits motionless for a long time, for example, when traveling by car, blood circulation in the body slows down. The muscles in your legs don’t work and don’t help your veins pump blood. Therefore, more blood clots appear.
- Recent Activity
During procedures on the legs, heart and blood vessels, the venous walls are often damaged.As a result, blood clots accumulate on them. These blood clots do not always disappear after treatment – they remain in the vessels and interfere with blood circulation.
- Lower body injuries
Fractures of the thigh or lower leg often damage adjacent veins. Blood circulation is impaired for several reasons. First, blood clots appear in the damaged vessels, which should reduce blood loss. Second, fracture treatment restricts the patient’s movement and reduces the rate of circulation.The result is a high risk of thrombosis.
There is a lot of blood in a large body and it strongly presses on the venous walls. Sometimes it damages them. As a result, blood clots grow.
- Pregnancy and the puerperium
In expectant mothers, the vessels are exposed to great stress – they are pressed by an enlarged uterus, as well as an increased volume of blood in the body. Veins dilate and blood flow slows down. Favorable environment for thrombosis.
- Heart attack or heart failure
Because of these problems, the heart is not working at full strength. As a result, blood circulation deteriorates.
- Estrogen therapy or contraceptive drugs
Due to hormones, the blood becomes thicker and blood clots are more likely to form in it.
Certain forms of cancer increase the risk of blood clots.The fight against cancer is no less dangerous. Certain treatments increase the density of the blood and its ability to form blood clots.
- Rare genetic disorders
These inherited conditions affect the ability of the blood to thrombus. The risk of thrombosis increases.
- Age over 60 years old
Deep vein thrombosis affects people of all ages. However, the disease is especially common in older people.
- Vein pathology
Inflammation of the venous walls and varicose veins affect blood circulation, so that blood clots often fill diseased vessels.
- Superficial vein thrombosis
Blood clots in the subcutaneous vessels are not very dangerous, but they increase the risk of blood clots in large deep veins.
Because of this disease, the blood does not thicken properly, which causes not only thrombosis, but also bleeding.The main causes are infections and organ failure.
- History of thrombosis
One third of people who have cured deep vein thrombosis will get it again within 10 years.
As you can see, there are a lot of risk factors. Therefore, it is not surprising that complications of thrombosis are one of the main causes of death in the modern world.
Blood clots are often killed. Especially when the patient allows them to grow uncontrollably and spread to the heart, lungs and brain.To fight the disease, timely diagnosis is needed.
Diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities
You have entered the phlebologist’s office.
Diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis of the legs begins with a survey. The patient talks about symptoms that are not visible externally. Next, the doctor examines the legs and notes possible manifestations of blood clots, for example, swelling or discoloration of the skin.
Examination does not always help to make a diagnosis.
Then the phlebologist orders tests:
- Ultrasound scan
The doctor conducts a special device (ultrasound) along the vein, which sends ultrasonic waves into the vessels. The sound is reflected back and the vein is displayed on the monitor. As well as her damage and blood clots. If a blood clot has been found, additional testing may be needed to confirm that the clot has grown.
This test is called the D-dimer test.All blood clots are made up of fibrin. When blood clots appear, the body does not ignore this – it produces plasmin, which destroys blood clots. The analysis shows the level of plasmin, but not the location of the clot. The doctor looks for him with ultrasound.
In rare cases, ultrasound scanning does not give clear results, and then the phlebologist injects a contrast into the veins – a special substance that helps to see the vessels well on an X-ray.
These types of tomography show a three-dimensional image of veins.Such methods are rarely used. Their disadvantages are time consuming and difficulties in deciphering the results.
It may take more or less time to diagnose, but usually doctors can easily find blood clots in the veins. Timely detection of blood clots helps prevent complications of the disease. For example, detachment of a blood clot in the leg.
How to identify thromboembolism
We have already talked about the signs of pulmonary embolism. When they appear, you need to see a doctor as soon as possible, since your life often depends on the speed of assistance.
Yes, not all symptoms are intimidating.
Sometimes people ignore a rapid heartbeat or shortness of breath. All this cannot be compared with hemoptysis, but it is definitely not worth postponing the visit to the doctor until more severe symptoms of the disease appear. Delay will prove disastrous.
Even better, do not wait for the symptoms of embolism and begin to fight the cause of the formation of blood clots in the lungs. A blood clot in your leg can come off suddenly. You simply will not have time to get the help you need, especially if you are away from the village and doctors.
The first line of defense against embolism is prevention of thrombosis.
Prevention of venous thrombosis
At the heart of prevention is the fight against risk factors.
Yes, it is impossible to eliminate them all.
You cannot get rid of genetic disorders or regain youthfulness. However, the fight is not lost. By removing at least a few risk factors, you can reduce the likelihood of thrombosis.
- Avoid prolonged immobility
Even with bed rest after surgery, try to move as much as possible.Make regular stops on long car rides. Get out of your car every hour and walk for at least five minutes. It could be longer. Raise and lower your heel as you sit – this is how you move your leg muscles and help your veins pump blood.
- Charge every day
Any simple exercise accelerates the blood in the vessels. Just 10 minutes to exercise every morning, and blood clots will be less frequent.
- Change your lifestyle
First of all – fight obesity.Excess weight paves the way not only for deep vein thrombosis, but also for many other diseases.
- Use contraceptive estrogen pills as little as possible
The less hormones affect the blood vessels, the less the risk of blood clots in the superficial or deep veins.
Unfortunately, sometimes preventive measures do not help. Because there are too many other risk factors, or the patient is too late in the fight for vascular health.
The reason is not the main thing.
The main thing is not to start the disease and undergo treatment.
Treatment of deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities
It is difficult to predict in advance which treatment method the phlebologist will choose. It depends on the location and size of the blood clot – some patients get rid of blood clots without the intervention of a doctor, while others have to go through surgery.
Let’s start with simple cases.
Small blood clots in the vessels below the knee rarely come off.Therefore, doctors do not prescribe any medications to the patient and simply monitor his condition. The person is regularly examined. This is how doctors know immediately if blood clots increase.
Do not forget – the body produces plasmin to destroy blood clots. There is a chance that they will disappear on their own.
Of course, not all patients are so lucky.
When the disease develops, phlebologists prescribe anticoagulants that thin the blood and stop the growth of blood clots. There are a lot of such drugs for the treatment of leg thrombosis and the following factors influence their choice:
- Reaction to substances in the composition of anticoagulants
- Wounds and trauma
While the patient is taking blood-thinning medications, doctors regularly do blood tests and check the effectiveness of anticoagulants.
Sometimes people do not have to go to the hospital.
Treatment of venous thrombosis without complications is possible at home. Family members give the patient injections of anticoagulants, and he comes to the clinic for blood tests.
In case of complications, this is not possible.
People with an additional serious illness or during pregnancy should be under constant supervision in the hospital.
Duration of treatment?
Doctors prescribe anticoagulants for different periods – from 3 to 12 months.Or longer. If blood clots appear due to temporary risk factors, for example, after many hours of driving, then you only need to take medication for three months.
For people with constant and multiple risk factors, we recommend preparing for long-term treatment – longer than 12 months.
Not all blood clots respond well to therapy. Against resistant formations, doctors use more powerful drugs – thrombolytics, which destroy blood clots.
These drugs must be injected directly into the blood clots and are handled by a surgeon or other qualified specialist.Independent use is prohibited.
Some patients need alternative treatment. Common examples are when there is bleeding in the stomach or intestines. Anticoagulants thin the blood. Taking them will increase bleeding and can even lead to death.
Phlebologists use a temporary solution – a cava filter. It is placed in a large vessel through which all the blood from the veins of the lower extremities passes, and therefore all the blood clots. The filter stops blood clots and gives doctors time to eliminate bleeding.It is not used all the time.
In rare cases, the removal of a blood clot on the leg is performed. This is necessary if blood clots completely block large veins and it is impossible to get rid of such a congestion in other ways. However, then the patient is still prescribed anticoagulants.
An important part of the therapy is compression hosiery, which puts pressure on the diseased vessels and prevents the complications of deep vein thrombosis. It is recommended to wear it for at least a year after receiving the diagnosis.
We have tried to outline what the future holds for people with thrombosis.How the disease develops without treatment. What methods do doctors use to deal with blood clots in the deep veins of the legs, lungs and heart.
This information will be helpful.
Although we hope that you will not face complications of thrombosis.
It is difficult to fully disclose such a topic even in a thick book, and we advise you to consult with a phlebologist to clarify any questions that arise.
Where to go?
It’s up to you to decide. There are specialists in vascular diseases in many medical centers, but blind selection is unlikely to help you get to an experienced doctor.There is also a more reliable option.
Make an appointment at the Vein Institute clinic.
We have phlebologists who have been eliminating venous diseases for more than 15 years. Individual specialists take twice as long. They have accumulated a wealth of experience in treating patients with a wide variety of individual characteristics: injuries, pregnancy, serious illnesses.
Doctors will quickly compose an individual therapy program. Treatment by the most experienced phlebologists in Kiev and Kharkov will allow you to return to the society of people who are not tormented by problems with blood vessels.
Doctors of the Venin Institute have successfully operated on over 4,000 people. They have cured even more with the right medication, compression hosiery and preventive measures. These patients returned to full, healthy lives. Without a thrombotic gun attached to the head.
However, our employees are engaged not only in medical, but also in research work. In his free time from medical exploits. For example, Rustem Osmanov regularly writes scientific articles. Over 70 publications.He also patented nine inventions.
Doctors of the Vein Institute give reports at world phlebological forums. To the best vessel specialists. In 2018-19, Oksana Ryabinskaya took part in such conferences three times – in Yaremche, Melbourne and Krakow.
Come to our medical center, where you will receive an accurate diagnosis and prescribe an effective treatment for venous diseases of any severity.
Surgeon of the highest category, phlebologist
Experience: 21 years
Surgeon of the highest category, phlebologist
Work experience: 20 years
Phlebologist of the highest category
Work experience: 34 years
Dermatologist higher.cat., director
Work experience: 20 years
First category surgeon
Work experience: 15 years
Work experience: 17 years
Work experience: 5 years
First category surgeon
Work experience: 12 years
Vascular surgeon, phlebologist
Work experience: 10 years
Vascular surgeon, chief physician
Work experience: 11 years
Vascular surgeon, phlebologist
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Vascular surgeon, phlebologist
Work experience: 5 years
How to recognize thrombosis and thrombophlebitis
What is thrombophlebitis and thrombosis?
Thrombophlebitis is a disease in which the walls of blood vessels become inflamed and a blood clot forms – a thrombus. Most often, the disease affects the superficial vessels, saphenous veins and their tributaries. Deep vein thrombophlebitis of the lower extremities is less common and accounts for up to 10% of all diagnosed cases. Pathological changes occur in the veins of the lower leg and thigh.
The main causes of thrombophlebitis are:
How to cure varicose veins?
- circulatory disorders with low physical activity;
- transferred infectious diseases;
- mechanical damage to blood vessels during intravenous fluids or injections;
- hereditary predisposition;
- tumor lesion of the vascular walls;
- intake of hormonal and diuretics.
The risk of developing thrombophlebitis of the legs increases during pregnancy and after childbirth.
Thrombosis is a disease in which the patency of the veins is impaired due to the formation of a blood clot. Pathology develops against the background of increased blood clotting, which leads to a decrease in blood flow velocity. The causes of venous thrombosis are:
- blood stagnation with varicose veins, decreased physical activity;
- inflammatory processes in the walls of blood vessels;
- pathological changes in the circulatory system in case of cancer, metabolic disorders, severe cardiovascular diseases.
An increased risk of blood clots is associated with age-related changes in people over 40. Particular attention to the health of the veins should be paid to those who lead a lot of a sedentary lifestyle.
Signs of thrombophlebitis
Thrombophlebitis is accompanied by pain in the area of the affected area, which increases with touching and walking. Patients notice redness and thickening of the skin, persistent edema of the legs. Acute thrombophlebitis is manifested by an increase in temperature to 39 ° C and chills, accompanied by an increase in lymph nodes.
What are the main symptoms of thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT):
- Leg pain is the main symptom of deep vein thrombosis;
- Swelling of a limb If you notice that one of your bones is suddenly swollen, then this may be an early symptom of DVT;
- The appearance of red stripes on the skin;
- chest pain;
- lack of air;
- abdominal pain;
About the symptoms of thrombosis
The signs of thrombosis are similar to those of thrombophlebitis. Patients are worried about pain, aggravated by walking, standing still and touching the affected area. There is swelling of the limb, which is accompanied by a feeling of fullness and heaviness. A pronounced venous pattern is visible under the skin. The temperature of the affected limb is slightly higher than that of the healthy one. The skin around the inflamed area becomes pale with a specific shine, cyanosis may appear.
Thrombosis does not always have clear symptoms. In some cases, the disease does not manifest itself with pronounced symptoms.
Acute thrombosis is accompanied by a sharp rise in temperature, general malaise, fever and chills. Such changes require urgent medical attention to diagnose and treat the disease. Detachment of a blood clot and its entry into deep veins can lead to dangerous complications.
What is the difference between thrombophlebitis and varicose veins?
Thrombophlebitis and varicose veins have similar symptoms, but a different nature.With varicose veins, the vessels are constantly dilated, and their walls become thinner. The disease leads to impaired blood flow and the formation of nodes in the vessels. With thrombophlebitis, the walls of the vein become inflamed and a blood clot forms. Blockage of the vessel lumen causes impaired blood circulation and swelling of the affected vessel.
How to treat thrombophlebitis at home?
If you suspect inflammation of the walls of blood vessels, you should contact a phlebologist who will diagnose and prescribe treatment.Only mild forms of the disease, in which superficial vessels are involved in the inflammatory process, can be treated at home. Deep vein thrombophlebitis of the lower extremities requires mandatory hospitalization due to the risk of embolism.
The patient is prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and drugs that reduce blood clotting (anticoagulants). In the process of taking them, it is necessary to regularly take tests to control blood counts. Medication is aimed at preventing new blood clots from forming.For external use, drugs based on heparin are used, which promotes the resorption of blood clots.
For outpatient treatment, the patient must be kept in bed. In the prone position, the legs should be raised up. Drinking plenty of fluids is recommended to thin the blood.
Thrombosis – treatment with folk remedies
The possibility of treating thrombosis with folk remedies should be discussed with your doctor. Patients with a tendency to form blood clots need to eliminate the causes of leg edema.Regular physical activity prevents vascular congestion. The most useful for varicose veins and venous insufficiency are walking, cycling, swimming.
Avoid overheating and prolonged exposure to the sun. To relieve tension from diseased vessels, you need to lift your legs up so that they are above the level of the heart with support along the entire length of the lower leg.
How long does one live with deep vein thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis is life threatening only if complications develop.The most serious of them are pulmonary embolism and the transition of the disease to a purulent form, leading to phlegmon (acute subcutaneous infection caused by the spread of pus), gangrenous lesions. Seeing a doctor when the first signs of venous pathology appear, timely diagnosis and treatment allow avoiding complications that can lead to death.
Acute thrombosis and thrombophlebitis may recur. This primarily applies to people who have a sedentary job or activities associated with long trips.Smoking, lack of fluid in the body, taking medications that increase blood clotting also contribute to the formation of blood clots.
Patients with varicose veins are at increased risk. If a diagnosis of thrombosis is made, it is necessary to be regularly monitored by a doctor, to follow his recommendations. The duration and quality of life for venous diseases directly depends on the patient’s lifestyle. The combination of drug therapy and moderate exercise prevents blood clots from forming.
The diet should have a sufficient amount of vegetables and fruits that help thin the blood and prevent blood clots. Garlic and kiwi are natural anticoagulants, and they also help thin the blood. Citrus fruits and red grapes help to strengthen the walls of blood vessels.
Treatment of deep vein thrombophlebitis
Methods of treatment of deep vein thrombophlebitis depend on the nature of the disease. If inflammation does not pose a threat to life, drug therapy is prescribed.It consists in taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and venotonic drugs, using external agents. During the treatment period, it is recommended to wear special compression stockings.
Surgical operation is necessary when there is a threat of purulent complications with the appearance of abscesses in the area of the affected vein or pulmonary embolism (PE), if the inflammation passes from the leg to the thigh. With PE, the artery is blocked by a thrombus. In 9-11% of cases, thromboembolism is fatal.
Another serious complication of inflammatory venous disease is chronic venous insufficiency. Violation of the patency of the veins causes pain, cramps in the legs, ulcers on the skin.
Treatment of thrombosis
Conservative methods of thrombosis therapy include wearing compression stockings, taking medications that thin the blood and promote the resorption of blood clots. With purulent complications, the risk of blockage of the pulmonary artery or vessels supplying blood to the intestines, surgical treatment is indicated.
Thrombosis and thrombophlebitis are diseases that are successfully treated by modern medicine. Taking care of your health and a timely visit to a doctor will help to identify vascular diseases at an early stage and avoid dangerous complications.
90,000 Ekaterina Misheneva: “Don’t let the blood stagnate”
Today in Russia mortality from cardiovascular diseases directly related to thrombosis is twice the European average and is more than 1.5 thousand people per hundred thousand population.Yekaterina Misheneva, a cardiologist at the State Institution of the Republic of Kazakhstan “Cardiological Dispensary”, told Respublika about what kind of disease it is and who is susceptible to it.
– So what is thrombosis?
– Thrombosis is a blockage of a vessel by a blood clot, while the blood does not enter the organ, and it may suffer. Most often, a person’s limbs are affected. In the body of a healthy person, the formation of such a clot helps to stop bleeding. For example, if you cut yourself or have a blood test taken, the blood stops after a while.But sometimes it also happens that thrombosis occurs when it should not be, that is, for no apparent reason. Sometimes this is how a myocardial infarction (a blood clot in the arteries that feed the heart muscle) or a stroke (a blood clot in the arteries of the brain) occurs. And this can already threaten not only health, but also life. Such thrombosis can also occur due to some features of genes, i.e. hereditary information recorded in the cells of your body. Therefore, if a person wants to connect his life with a profession that involves high-risk situations, for example, working as a rescuer, a policeman, in professional sports, he should undergo a molecular genetic examination.
Problems begin when blood clots, attaching to the walls of blood vessels, form a plug, which at any time can come off, go swimming through the veins and arteries and, once in a narrow place, completely block the blood flow. And the person suddenly dies.
Everyone is afraid of plane crashes, but few people know that after a safe landing, you can collapse dead right at the plane’s ladder – due to the separation of a blood clot formed in the veins during the flight. It is believed that blood clots form in one of the passengers on each flight.Fortunately, not every case ends in tragedy. According to statistics, 70 percent of people experience thrombosis.
– Why do blood clots occur? Can a hazard be identified? And how to protect yourself from the threat?
– Let’s see why blood clots appear in the veins. A combination of three factors is required for blood clots to form. The first factor is damage to the inner surface of blood vessels (occurs after traumatic, tumor or inflammatory diseases). The second is a slowdown in blood flow (occurs with heart failure, prolonged bed rest and varicose veins).And the third is increased blood coagulability (observed in trauma, inflammatory processes, surgical interventions and dehydration). Sometimes just one reason is enough. In the presence of all three, thrombus formation is inevitable.
There are two types of thrombosis – venous and arterial. Venous is more common. It is dangerous for its complications, the most severe of which is thromboembolism (blockage of branches) of the pulmonary artery. Surgeons claim that this diagnosis accounts for a third of sudden deaths.More than half of patients die in the first two hours after the onset of an embolism. Arterial clots are less common, but more insidious. Being in a fast blood flow, they often break off, causing first a violation of the blood supply to the organ that the artery supplies with blood, and then its death. So thrombosis of the coronary arteries leads to myocardial infarction, cerebral arteries – to stroke.
Veins are quite delicate and easily injured anatomical structures. Their walls are much thinner than those of arteries of the same diameter.The blood pressure in the veins is much lower, therefore, the middle (muscle) layer is less developed. Veins are less resistant to external compression and injury, they are easily involved in the inflammatory process even without the participation of microorganisms. In addition, there are valves in the veins, damage to which and stagnation of blood in the area of their location contribute to the formation of blood clots.
Maintaining blood in a liquid state ensures the simultaneous operation of a huge number of complex biochemical mechanisms. They maintain a precise balance between the blood coagulation and anticoagulant systems.There are a large number of typical situations, well known to doctors, in which the venous blood flow is simultaneously disturbed and the coagulation system is activated. For example, during any surgical operation, a large amount of tissue thromboplastin, a substance that stimulates blood clotting, enters the bloodstream from the tissues. The harder and more extensive the operation, the greater the release of this substance. The same thing happens with any injury.
This mechanism was formed in ancient times, and without it humanity as a biological species simply would not have survived.Otherwise, any trauma in our distant ancestors, and in ours, would have ended in death from bleeding. The body as a whole system is indifferent to what caused the wound – the claws of a saber-toothed tiger or a surgeon’s scalpel. In any case, there is a rapid activation of the blood coagulation potential. But this protective mechanism can often play a negative role, since it creates the prerequisites for the formation of blood clots in the venous system in operated patients.
– It is clear that any operation is a risk.
– On the first day after the operation, it is difficult for the patient to get up, move and walk. This means that the work of the musculo-venous pump is turned off and venous blood flow slows down. In case of injuries, in addition, it is necessary to apply plaster casts, skeletal traction, connect bone fragments with metal pins, which sharply limits the patient’s physical activity and contributes to the occurrence of thrombosis. Its frequency after surgical operations on the abdominal organs can reach 25-40 percent. In case of hip fractures, knee and hip replacement, thrombosis in the deep veins of the legs develops in 60-70 percent of patients.
The most serious problem is venous thromboembolic complications during pregnancy. The fact is that the woman’s body prepares itself in advance for childbirth, and therefore for blood loss. Already from the early stages of pregnancy, the blood coagulation system is activated. The inferior vena cava and iliac veins are compressed by the growing uterus. Consequently, the risk of thrombosis increases.Acute venous thrombosis can be complicated by hormonal contraception. These drugs, as it were, deceive the woman’s body, “convincing” it that pregnancy has already begun, and hemostasis, naturally, reacts by activating the coagulation system. Although pharmacologists are trying to reduce the content of hormones, primarily estrogens, in these drugs, the frequency of venous thrombosis (and, therefore, the possibility of pulmonary embolism) in women taking hormonal contraceptives is at least 3-4 times higher than in those taking who does not accept them.
The risk of thrombosis is especially high in women who smoke, because under the influence of nicotine thromboxane is released, a powerful blood clotting factor. Actively promotes thrombus formation and overweight.
Venous thrombosis is a common complication of neoplasms, both malignant and benign. Patients with tumors, as a rule, have increased blood clotting. This is due, apparently, to the fact that the patient’s body prepares in advance for the future disintegration of the growing tumor.Often, venous thrombosis acts as the first clinical sign of an onset cancer process.
Even a long flight in a cramped airplane seat, with legs bent at the knees, in case of forced inactivity, can provoke venous thrombosis, the so-called “economy class syndrome”.
Thus, any surgical intervention, any injury, pregnancy, childbirth, any disease associated with the patient’s inactivity, circulatory failure, can be complicated by venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. This is what explains such a high incidence of venous thromboembolic complications even in countries with well-developed medicine.
– How to determine thrombosis by external signs? And who is more susceptible to this disease?
– The insidiousness of venous thrombosis is also in the fact that its clinical manifestations do not cause a feeling of great trouble in the patient. Swelling of the leg, pain, usually of a moderate nature, slight cyanosis of the limb does not frighten patients, and sometimes they do not even consider it necessary to consult a doctor.
In this case, a thrombus without any warning can break off from the vein wall in a few seconds, turn into an embolus – a thrombus that migrates through the vessels, and cause severe thromboembolism of the pulmonary arteries with an unpredictable outcome. According to experts, about 100,000 people die from pulmonary embolism in the Russian Federation every year. Thus, this disease claims more lives than car accidents, regional conflicts and criminal incidents combined.
Due to its transience and unpredictability, pulmonary embolism is perceived as a bolt from the blue not only by patients, but also by doctors. Fortunately, not every venous thrombosis is complicated by thromboembolism, although their number is very large.
Blood clots are more common in older people. The hypodynamia accompanying a sedentary lifestyle provokes blood stagnation – one of the main risk factors for the disease.
One of the common causes of arterial thrombosis is atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerotic plaques cause the arteries to narrow.Blood flow is obstructed, and favorable conditions arise for the formation of thrombosis.
The relationship between smoking and the formation of atherosclerosis, and hence the occurrence of blood clots, has been proven.
But most often people who have a tendency to form blood clots – thrombophilia – are at risk of thrombosis. It can be genetic, associated with gene damage, and inherited. And in some cases, it can be caused by an imbalance in the coagulation and anticoagulant systems.
– Blood clots often form in summer, why?
– There are several reasons for this. The main one is travel, or rather, the accompanying air travel. Air passengers sit in uncomfortable positions for a long time, the veins are pinched, and the low pressure and extremely dry air in the aircraft cabins contribute to blood stagnation and rapid dehydration. To avoid blood clots, before the flight, you need to pull on compression hosiery (it improves blood flow in the legs), take a quarter of an aspirin tablet, which reduces blood viscosity.And during the flight, stretch your legs more often: try to get up and walk around the cabin after the plane has gained altitude, every 30 minutes.
The second reason is the summer desire to lose weight. Blood clots are more often formed in women who are on diets (the withdrawal of excess fluid from the body is the basis of diets, and with this dehydration of the body begins) or taking birth control pills (they increase blood clotting).
– Can you sense the lurking danger?
– Symptoms of venous thrombosis – heaviness in the muscles (usually calf), swelling of only one lower limb, induration along the veins, cyanosis of the skin, pain.
If venous thrombosis is complicated by thromboembolism in the pulmonary arteries, then chest pains, aggravated by breathing, coughing, hemoptysis, and fever, are added to the swelling and pain in one of the limbs. Often, such patients are treated by a neurologist with a diagnosis of intercostal neuralgia or a physician with a diagnosis of pneumonia. Sometimes such “minor” embolism may not appear at all until repeated episodes lead to more severe changes in pulmonary blood flow.
The signs of arterial thrombosis depend on where the blood clot is located. With arterial thrombi of the arms or legs, patients complain of a sharp pain, a cold snap in this limb and a drop in sensitivity. If it is a hand, then it is often difficult to measure blood pressure on it, or it is impossible to measure it at all. Blood clots in the arteries of the abdomen cause vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.
Thrombosis of the arteries of the brain can manifest itself as a stroke. Blood clots in the coronary arteries – myocardial infarction – severe pressing or burning pains behind the sternum.
However, about 30 percent of venous thrombosis can be asymptomatic. They are the most dangerous. To find them, you need to undergo examinations. Planned thrombi, as a rule, are not removed, but are dissolved with special preparations.
– How are thrombosis treated?
– The fight against deadly thromboembolism of the pulmonary arteries is the fight primarily against acute venous thrombosis. Of course, it is much more effective to prevent thrombosis than to treat it. That is why the attention of doctors of various specialties is now focused on the problem of preventing venous thromboembolic complications.That is why surgeons, oncologists, gynecologists, physical therapy doctors are so persistently trying to get their patients out of bed the next day after the operation, or even the same day, in order to take a few steps around the ward (often listening to accusations from their patients of all mortal sins ). Quite, by the way, I recall in this case the common phrase “movement is life.”
If thrombosis of the great veins has already developed, then doctors direct all their efforts primarily to prevent pulmonary embolism.Previous attempts to remove the thrombus were completely futile, since against the background of altered hemostasis, a new thrombus appears on the inflamed vein wall, which is looser and even more dangerous. The venous thrombosis does not threaten the leg’s viability, since the arteries passable for blood flow regularly bring oxygen and nutrients. Venous gangrene is a very rare complication; it develops if blood clots close absolutely all veins, both deep and subcutaneous. Therefore, simultaneously with antithrombotic or anticoagulant therapy, aimed at preventing the growth and spread of the thrombus, the patient is examined to identify floating, embolic forms of venous thrombosis.
For a long time, only phlebography was used for this, that is, an X-ray study of the great veins using a contrast agent. Currently, in most patients, the diagnosis can be made using ultrasound techniques. First of all, this is an ultrasound examination of the veins, which does not require puncture of the veins, the introduction of a toxic contrast agent and, which is very important, especially when examining pregnant women, is not associated with the patient’s irradiation. At the same time, the information content of the study is not inferior to phlebography.
But the most dangerous, often catastrophic course of the situation takes on the already occurred pulmonary embolism. Thromboemboli, as a rule, are of considerable size, and in most patients they close the pulmonary trunk or the main pulmonary arteries.
– So how to protect yourself from blood clots?
– First of all, lead an active lifestyle – physical activity improves blood circulation, prevents blood stagnation, improves metabolic processes in the body.
You need to eat right – the basis of the diet should be plant foods that do not contain cholesterol. Do not allow dehydration of the body – a lack of fluid increases the viscosity of the blood.
Take care of yourself: injuries, operations, infectious diseases are a risk factor for blood clots. Get your examinations on time. Duplex ultrasound scanning of veins, during which the diameter of the vein is measured, determines the blood flow velocity. Often the blood clot itself can be seen on ultrasound.Donate blood for cholesterol, undergo a coagulogram (blood clotting test). Get a biochemical blood test (a high level of an indicator called D-dimer is a key indicator of thrombosis, but can be increased in other diseases).
In-depth studies for thrombophilia are expensive enough to be done by everyone concerned about their health, but we still recommend them when one of the relatives (dad, mom, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, grandmothers, grandfathers) had thrombosis in the family or thromboembolism, as well as cases of sudden death of relatives under the age of 55.Or in the event of a thrombosis in a person under the age of 50. We also recommend in case of unreasonable recurrence of thrombosis of any localization.
These examinations are necessary to determine a more accurate method of treatment.
Modern medicine has a wide range of tools for the diagnosis and treatment of acute venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that the best way to deal with this most dangerous complication is prevention, carried out in the collaboration of a doctor and a patient.
Fighting overweight, uncontrolled intake of hormonal drugs, smoking, physical inactivity, conscious and active implementation of medical recommendations can significantly reduce the frequency of tragedies and accidents caused by this disease.
Thrombosis and thrombophelia of the lower extremities, causes, symptoms, treatment
What is thrombofelitis and thrombosis
I am often asked about such a problem as clogged veins, what is meant by such a concept. The fact is that such a simple, everyday word most often means such a dangerous complication as thrombosis.So, the vein in our leg has several membranes. The inner lining of the veins is represented by a thin layer of thin vessels. This layer of thin vessels is called the endothelium and is nourished by the oxygen of the moving blood. Only moving blood, giving and taking oxygen, feeds this shell. If the movement of blood through the vein ends, and the blood does not move or moves chaotically up and down, in this case there are phenomena that can lead to hypoxia of the inner lining of the vein wall, that is, the normal exchange of oxygen is disrupted. And this leads to the development of inflammatory phenomena. Inflammation in the vein wall, arising from the adhesion of various shaped elements to it, poor nutrition of the vein wall itself, oxygen starvation causes and triggers a thrombotic reaction. Shaped elements begin to form in the area of the vein wall, sticking like a snowball to its wall. First of all, platelets. Platelets release active substances that form fibrin strands. And these filaments of fibrin, like a mesh, blocking the lumen of the vessel, cause the formation of a dense clot, which is called a thrombus or, in the common people, clogging of veins.This thrombus by itself can cause inflammation of the adjacent section of the vein and again everything will repeat again, the formed elements become inflamed again and the next section of thrombosis is inflamed again.
Symptoms of venous thrombosis of the lower extremities
So, this process can go on for a very long time and outwardly manifests itself as redness on the skin, a sharp compaction of the skin itself and soreness. Thus, if you see a red spot on the leg, then this may, unfortunately, mean the beginning of the process of inflammation or blockage of the vein.And this is the beginning of the inflammatory process, which is formed by venous congestion. To tell the truth, not only the venous capacity itself forms a person’s tendency to thrombosis, very often thrombotic changes are observed with high cholesterol. Cholesterol can damage the vein by forming a blood clot and clot. And this also needs to be remembered by our patients.
Thrombophilia of the lower extremities – the cause is heredity
Another important element that must be taken into account in the formation of a blood clot is hereditary defects in the very structure of the blood.Such hereditary defects are called and are included in the concept of thrombophilia. Thrombo from the word “thrombus” and “philia” from the word love, in Greek, I love blood clots. This is how this situation arises in a person and manifests it completely spontaneously sometimes, sometimes just upon impact, with a leg injury, sometimes quite at a young age of 27-30 years, a person begins to spontaneously coagulate blood in deep veins and forms a clot that others very quickly capture areas of healthy veins. It is because of thrombophilia, not diagnosed thrombophilia, that rather severe, rather life-threatening complications such as thrombobolism in patients are diagnosed.Unfortunately, it is very difficult to detect thrombophilia, but if you are hereditary, if you have had such cases in your family, then remember that you may be a carrier of a defective gene, which leads to a tendency, a high tendency for blood clots to form. Remember this and find out the medical history of your relatives and friends while they are alive.
Treatment of thrombosis and thrombophilia of the lower extremities
Approaches to the treatment of varicose veins and its complications in the form of blockage of veins must be divided into two groups: local treatment with anti-inflammatory ointments, such as butadiene ointment, Advantan emulsion or Voltaren gel, and with the help of such simple things as ice on the inflamed area body, on the area of clogged veins or thrombophlebitis, which can be applied for 15-20 minutes after 2-2.5 hours for 5-6 days, even such simple measures as ice, anti-inflammatory ointments, blunt elastic bandaging of this place help us eliminate this problem, make it less dangerous and more controllable within 3-4 days, and then it is necessary to deal with the causes of this thrombophlebitis.
Here you cannot do without consultation, it is necessary to check the deep saphenous veins and find out why, after all, the blood coagulated in this vein and led to the formation of an inflammatory filtrate in the form of clogging of veins or thrombophlebitis, it is by learning the details of this problem that we can pick up the necessary little for our patients traumatic treatment, laser or radiofrequency energy treatment, and sclerotherapy.
Blockage of veins in the legs
Thrombosis of the lower extremities
Why do knees hurt?
90,000 Vein thrombosis.Treatment and diagnosis of thrombosis of the lower extremities in the clinic EMC
Vein thrombosis is a condition in which blood clots (thrombi) form in the veins. Distinguish between superficial and deep vein thrombosis. Superficial vein thrombosis is always accompanied by inflammation of the vascular wall. In this case, the correct name for this condition is thrombophlebitis. Deep vein thrombosis may not be accompanied by phlebitis, although it carries a significantly greater risk to the patient’s life.In the case of deep vein thrombosis, another term is often used – phlebothrombosis.
Blood clots can form in any veins, but the most common localization of thrombosis is the veins of the legs and small pelvis. Deep vein thrombosis is always a life-threatening condition, as it can cause serious complications – the migration of blood clots and embolization of the vessels of vital organs (lungs, intestines, kidneys). Most often, embolization occurs in the pulmonary artery system, which can lead to the development of heart (right ventricular) failure and even death.That is why knowledge of preventive measures and modern methods of treating this disease is relevant.
Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis depend on the severity and location of the thrombosis. As a rule, the following symptoms predominate in the clinic:
With thrombosis of the inferior vena cava, symmetrical edema of both legs develops, a feeling of heaviness in the legs appears, the patient’s movement causes discomfort. In the case of thrombosis of the iliac vein or the proximal segment of the femoral vein, unilateral edema with cyanosis of the skin develops, accompanied by pain in the leg. With thrombosis of the popliteal segment and veins of the lower leg, these symptoms develop in the area of the lower leg and foot. It should be remembered that in persons prone to thrombosis, the symptoms of the disease are often erased or may be practically absent.
Vein thrombosis of the upper extremities and neck is much less common. The development of thrombosis of this localization should always force a thorough diagnostic search and exclude diseases of the mammary glands, chest organs and mediastinum.
Venous thrombosis develops when the following factors are combined: increased blood clotting activity, decreased speed of blood flow through the veins and / or damage to the venous wall.
The following can be identified as predisposing factors:
History of venous thrombosis
Age> 70 years
Central vein catheterization
Surgical interventions (especially in orthopedics or with prolonged anesthesia and immobilization)
Injury (especially fractures of the lower extremities)
Immobilization (long trip in a car, air travel, plaster cast, hospitalization, long bed period)
Obesity (body mass index> 30 kg / m2)
Pregnancy and the puerperium
Hormone replacement therapy in gynecology, oral contraceptives containing estrogen.
In addition, the risk of venous thromboembolic complications is significantly increased in a number of diseases:
Cancer and its treatment (hormonal treatment, chemotherapy, radiotherapy)
Thrombophilia (deficiency of proteins C and S, antithrombin III, mutations in the prothrombin gene, carriage of factor V-Leiden mutations, etc.)
Myeloproliferative diseases (polycythemia, thrombocytosis)
Kidney disease accompanied by nephrotic syndrome
Inflammatory diseases of the large intestine
Unfortunately, in a number of patients, deep vein thrombosis develops in the absence of provoking factors. Such “unprovoked” thrombosis represent a special group of conditions that require careful monitoring and more prolonged anticoagulant therapy. If you have several risk factors for venous thrombosis, consult a specialist about the methods of preventing this disease.
Diagnosis of thrombosis
If a venous thrombosis is suspected, laboratory and instrumental (imaging) research methods are used. Diagnosis of thrombosis using laboratory methods (D-dimer determination) may be beneficial in the case of a questionable diagnosis of venous thrombosis.This test has an extremely low specificity (<30%) with a high sensitivity of the method (93-95%). This means that a negative blood test result for D-dimer practically excludes thrombosis, while a positive result does not yet indicate the fact of thrombosis. This test is advisable if the diagnosis is not obvious. avoids a lot of imaging studies. In this regard, the D-dimer test is shown as a first line diagnostic.
With a high probability of venous thrombosis, you should immediately choose instrumental diagnostic methods:
Duplex ultrasound scanning of veins is the “gold standard” in the diagnosis of thrombosis, as it allows you to quickly, highly informative and non-invasively obtain information about the state of venous blood flow.The limitation of this study is the ability to adequately visualize only the veins of the limbs and neck. In case of suspicion of thrombosis of the veins of the pelvis, abdominal cavity, chest, multispiral computed tomography is the method of choice. Modern computed tomographs allow obtaining high-quality images of the vascular bed, visualizing the vessel wall and thrombotic masses. In addition, computed tomography is the “gold standard” for diagnosing a dangerous complication of deep vein thrombosis – pulmonary embolism. MRI angiography is mainly used to diagnose thrombosis of the intracranial veins and sinuses or if inflammation of the tissues surrounding the thrombosed vein is suspected.
If you suspect a vein thrombosis, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. Untimely medical care can lead to dangerous embolic complications and significantly worsen the patient’s quality of life. During an ultrasound examination, the doctor evaluates the thrombus’s ability to displace and embolize.If mobile blood clots are detected, strict bed rest is prescribed and the indications for implantation of a cava filter are specified. In the case of a high risk of thrombus rupture, in case of previous pulmonary embolism, or planned surgical interventions, implantation of a temporary cava filter is recommended. During the implantation procedure, a catheter with a cava filter is passed through the femoral vein. When the guidewire reaches the desired level, the filter is opened and the catheter is removed from the vein. The operation is performed under local anesthesia and is not burdensome for the patient.In the postoperative period, X-ray control of the position of the cava filter is performed.
Drug therapy for deep vein thrombosis involves the use of blood-thinning drugs (anticoagulants). Both tableted and injectable forms of drugs can be used. The choice of treatment tactics is carried out by the doctor based on data on the size and flotation of the thrombus, concomitant diseases, and patient preferences. The duration of anticoagulant therapy, as a rule, cannot be less than 3 months.In some cases, anticoagulant therapy is carried out for many months and even years (with thrombophilia, repeated pulmonary embolism, etc.).
We must not forget about the non-drug treatment of deep vein thrombosis of the lower extremities, which involves the mandatory use of compression hosiery. Compression stockings can improve venous blood flow and significantly reduce the risk of thrombosis progression and the likelihood of thromboembolism.
The following can be suggested as measures for personal prevention of deep vein thrombosis:
Daily physical activity (running, cycling, swimming, walking)
Wearing comfortable shoes and orthopedic insoles
Avoid prolonged static loads (standing, carrying weights)
Avoid prolonged immobilization (stops during road trips, special exercises for long flights)
Wearing compression hosiery (for varicose veins, air travel)
Sufficient fluid consumption
Avoid overheating (sauna) and dehydration
In the presence of diseases predisposing to venous thrombosis or multiple risk factors, non-drug prevention measures are often insufficient. In these clinical cases, drug prophylaxis is used with a regular medical assessment of the indications for anticoagulant therapy and the risk of possible complications.
Heart and Vascular Clinic EM C , located at Moscow, st. Schepkina, 35 – one of the few specialized centers for the comprehensive diagnosis and treatment of deep vein thrombosis and life-threatening complications – pulmonary embolism.
90,000 British doctors: a third of patients with coronavirus have dangerous thrombosis
- Richard Galpin
- BBC News
Photo author, Brian McClure
Brian McClure was hospitalized with pneumonia caused by the coronavirus
Up to 30% of patients seriously ill with coronavirus show signs of dangerous thrombosis – British medical experts have come to this alarming conclusion.
Blood clots can be responsible for many deaths. They result from severe pneumonia, which is the body’s natural response to the presence of a virus.
At the same time, patients around the world suffer from many complications caused by the virus that can lead to death.
In March, when the coronavirus pandemic was rapidly gaining momentum around the world, doctors began to note a noticeably increased incidence of thrombosis.
Among other unpleasant discoveries – hundreds of microthrombi in the lungs of some patients with coronavirus.
The virus also causes deep vein thrombosis, which usually affects the legs. When blood clots break off, they move to the lungs, blocking blood vessels, which is extremely life-threatening.
Artist Brian McClure was admitted to hospital in April with severe pneumonia caused by the coronavirus. However, soon after the scan, it turned out that an even greater threat loomed over his life.
“I went for an X-ray of my lungs, and then it turned out that I had blood clots in my lungs.I was told that it is very dangerous, – says Brian. “That’s when I started to get really worried. I realized that if I don’t get better, it will be a big trouble. “
Fortunately, Brian is already at home.
Photo author, Brian McClure
The picture showed dangerous blood clots in Brian’s lungs
“There has been a lot of information in recent weeks and it has become clear that thrombosis is a big problem,” says Professor Rupen Aria at King’s College London Hospital.“This is especially true of critically ill patients with coronavirus, because recent studies show that almost half of these patients suffer from pulmonary embolism, or blood clots in the lungs.”
Professor Aria believes that the number of seriously ill coronavirus patients who develop blood clots
A group of scientists under his leadership in a hospital setting is investigating how the coronavirus changes the blood of patients, making it thicker.And thickening blood leads to the formation of blood clots.
Such changes in the blood occur as a result of severe pneumonia, which is the body’s response to the virus.
“In seriously ill patients, we observe the release of chemicals into the bloodstream that activate the formation of blood clots,” explains Professor Aria.
And this, in turn, leads to a deterioration in the condition of patients.
According to thrombosis specialist Professor Beverly Hunt, thick blood is dangerous not only because it leads to the formation of blood clots – it also increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
“And yes, thick blood leads to higher mortality rates,” says Professor Hunt.
Photo author, Getty Images
Lung scans of coronavirus patients reveal unusually high blood clots
Blood thinners tested
Added to all of these problems is the fact that today’s blood thinners are not always used work. And a significant increase in their dose can lead to bleeding, which can be fatal.
According to Professor Aria, there is a delicate balance between treating thrombosis and causing bleeding.
Fortunately, medical professionals around the world are now united in the search for the safest and most effective treatment for thrombosis caused by the virus.
Clinical trials are already underway on the optimal dose of blood thinners that can be used everywhere.
However, some experts believe that the problem can be solved in another way: to find an opportunity to reduce acute pneumonia, which leads to blood clots.
Thrombolysis for the treatment of acute deep vein thrombosis
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein in the leg. The blood clot can split and move into the lungs, which in turn can lead to a potentially serious blockage of blood flow (pulmonary embolism or PE). Because of damaged leg veins, post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) can develop at any time during the next couple of years. Symptoms include leg pain, swelling, skin pigmentation, and leg ulcers resulting in loss of mobility.Anticoagulants are the standard treatment for deep vein thrombosis or leg vein thrombosis. They thin the blood to reduce further clotting and prevent PE, however, PTSD can still develop. Thrombolysis destroys a blood clot. For DVT, drugs such as streptokinase, urokinase, and muscle plasminogen activator are injected into a vein in an arm or leg, or, in some cases, directly at the site of a blood clot using a catheter and under X-ray control. Hemorrhagic complications, stroke, or intracerebral hemorrhage are potential adverse events with both treatments.