Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a clot forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body. While it’s typically found in the legs, it can occur elsewhere. The common symptoms of this condition are pain and swelling in the leg, but it’s also possible you’ll have no symptoms at all. This is a scary thought because DVT can be life threatening. Blood clots can break free from the veins and travel into the bloodstream. In a severe case, it could create a blockage in the lungs, cutting off blood flow (also known as pulmonary embolism).
WebMD warns that DVT is hard to detect. Since there are several different causes and risk factors ranging from poor blood circulation, genetic disorders, surgery, and even some medications, we’ve created a list of the potential causes and risk factors to be aware of, as well as some tips for prevention…
1. Being Immobile
Blood clots are likely to form during times when a person is restricted in their ability to move around. For example, during long periods of travel (on a plane or in a car) or while working. People who have a medical condition that prevents them from walking are likely to have DVT, as well as people who drive long distances, travel frequently on long flights, or anyone who is stationary for long periods of time. When the legs are still for hours on end, the calf muscles aren’t able to contract. If the calf muscles aren’t contracting then they can’t help circulate the blood which can result in blood clots.
Hospital stays are also known for causing DVT. According to Healthline, the rate of DVT in people who are admitted to the hospital is higher than the general population. “This is because hospitalization often results in long periods of immobility,” writes the source. People who are staying in the hospital should protect themselves by getting active again as soon as they are healthy and able, staying hydrated, using compression hose or boots when in bed and by taking blood thinners (always talk to a doctor before taking any new medications).