Blood is composed of plasma and cells. The plasma portion of the blood contains specific proteins that coagulate upon injury or inflammation in the tissues and even in the vessels of the body. Coagulation of the blood in one of the deep veins of any organ of the body causes a solid lump formation in the vessel which further causes swelling and the resulting pain in the vein. Such occurs frequently during a long flight in which you might be sitting in a same position for a considerably long time.
CAUSES: Primary cause is the decreased flow of blood which leads to static blood in that particular vein. Moreover, physical trauma and the infection by bacteria or viruses in that vein could result in coagulation and thrombus formation in that vein. Compression of the vein results in intermittent or no blood flow through veins. Since blood in veins is pumped by muscular compressions and movement, hospitalization and immobility are other causes of DVT.
RISK FACTORS: If one’s heart fails to pump blood effectively, this could lead to lowering of blood flow and stasis of blood followed by clotting of the blood. Further more, when the blood has clotted in one of the deep vein of the individual, it could be move to other veins which is termed as embolism further spreading the blockage of blood. Deep vein thrombosis could also block the blood flow in the superficial veins possibly through embolism and result in stasis of blood which could further cause oozing out of blood fluids into the tissues i.e edema and swelling. Statistical analysis shows increased chances of clot formation in people taking oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. Such orally administered contraceptives are composed of estrogen or progesterone, hormones that interrupt the implantation of baby in the womb. Such pills should only be taken upon doctor’s recommendations strictly according to schedule and dosage.
SYMPTOMS: DVT often isn’t accompanied by any physical symptoms but pain, swelling and inflammation. The affected organ that might be a limb appears pale colored and cool impacted by decreased blood flow to the region surrounding the vein.
TESTS: Complete blood count is taken to asses the clotting factors and cellular composition to rule out the cause of coagulation. D-dimer is a degradation product of the clot, the presence of which in the blood test would indicate positive deep vein thrombosis. Ultrasound examination of the clot and physical examination is often helpful in diagnosing DVT.
TREATMENT: DVT is commonly cured by administering the patient with anticoagulants such as heparin, a drug that blocks the process of clot formation in blood. Vitamin-K is an essential component of the clotting process; drugs that block the action of vitamin-K are also administered. Compression stockings are applied which are elastic and as the organ moves, the blood moves with more feasibility reducing the chances of clotting. Thrombectomy involving cutting out of the clot is adopted in extreme cases.
PREVENTION: Adopting a mobile behavior and by restraining from keeping your limbs in a static position, possibly one in which one of your major veins is being compressed, could markedly reduce the chances of DVT. Patients who had recently gone through any surgical procedure or kidney dialysis should take a dose of low molecular weight heparins just incase to reduce the probability of DVT.