If you’ve ever heard of deep vein thrombosis, it is likely only through the safety manuals in airplanes. However, deep vein thrombosis is actually a common condition, with potentially lethal consequences if not treated correctly. It can affect as many as one in one thousand people each year, which is staggeringly high, given how little we think about it.
However, medical professionals do, and they are trained to effectively treat such conditions. To help train them, ACLS courses in Orange County are available for all medical professionals.
What is thrombosis?
Basically, any kind of thrombosis is a blood clot which forms inside a blood vessel. In itself, it can cause pain and swelling, which is in itself not so dangerous. However, the real danger comes from the possibility that the thrombus will detach itself from the blood vessel and start moving around your body. This is where it can cause real havoc.
What can happen with the thrombus?
Since deep vein thrombi are usually small, they cannot cause a heart attack. However, there are plenty of other places where they can make trouble. There is a chance of blocking any regular blood vessel, causing damage to the area of the body affected. It can even cause a stroke if it reaches a blood vessel in the brain.
However, the most common place where the blood clot lands are the lungs. Since lungs are filled with tiny blood vessels, a blood clot from the thrombosis can easily clog some important vessel and immediately shut down a section of lungs or even the entire organ. This condition is called pulmonary embolism.
This correlation between deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism is so strong and frequent, that the combination of these two has its own name – venous thrombosis.
As mentioned before, the key symptom of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is pain. Since it usually occurs in veins deep in the leg, feeling pain in that region may be a strong indication that you are suffering from this condition.
Other common symptoms include swelling, redness and excess warmth in the painful region. However, the best indication that the pain is, in fact, DVT is bulging of the surface veins. Since the deep veins are clogged, the surface veins are put under more pressure than normal, which causes them to bulge.
There are many things that can put you at risk of getting DVT. Some rather simple things like putting your legs on the bed rest too much or frequently flying on planes, to more serious ones, like the prolonged immobilization of a leg (due to a leg injury for example), obesity or major surgery. In a nutshell, anything that helps blood clotting and reduces proper circulation can put you at risk. Another group of people who are susceptible to DVT is seniors.
If you suspect you might suffer from DVT, your doctor can easily diagnose it using any imaging technique. A CT scanner or ultrasound can reveal it, but the most common way to detect DVT is venography. Essentially, a dye is injected into the patient and then X-rayed, revealing any blood clots.
The most important prevention method is exercise as it stimulates leg muscles and circulation. Cycling or walking are probably the best options. Those who can’t exercise are encouraged to wear compression stockings to bolster circulation.
It is important for all of us to take care of our health. However, when it fails, we all want to be in the safe and knowledgeable hands of our medical professionals. This is why medical professionals need to take ACLS courses in Orange County. Advanced Healthcare Education centers can be found in five different locations. Contact today to learn more and schedule a course.