March is Deep Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month. DVT is a serious condition in which a clot forms inside a vein located deep inside the body. Deep vein clots can occur anywhere throughout the body, however, they are most commonly found in the lower leg, thigh, arm or pelvis. These blood clots can be dangerous because they might completely block a vein’s blood flow, causing discomfort, swelling or redness in and around the location of the clot. If they break loose, they can travel through your bloodstream and get lodged in your lungs, affecting blood flow and breathing. This can also cause damage to your lungs and heart failure.
Warning signs of deep vein thrombosis
Here are a few common warning signs of deep vein thrombosis:
- Pain or soreness in the legs or arms
- Skin that feels warm to the touch
- Skin discoloration
- Swelling, cramping or inflammation of the legs or arms
Warning signs of pulmonary embolism
Pulmonary embolism is a life-threatening complication of deep vein thrombosis. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of the warning signs below:
- Unexplained and sudden shortness of breath
- Chest pain or discomfort that worsens when you inhale or cough
- A sudden quickening of your pulse
- Coughing up blood
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
If you experience shortness of breath, become noticeably weak, or have chest pain, seek medical attention immediately to determine if a blood clot is affecting your heart or lungs. The experts at the Chicago Vein Institute perform the latest and most effective treatments for painful vein disorders. Contact us to schedule your initial consultation today.