Following our theme of New Year’s Resolution for a Healthier You, I would like to remind you that March is DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) Awareness Month. A DVT is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of the legs. The DVT, although serious, can be treated by your physician. DVT’s are most common in sedentary situations such as being bed ridden for long periods of time. If the one way valves in the veins are damaged or the blood flow impeded, a DVT can form in the lower leg or thigh. When a blood clot is formed, it can cause permanent damage to the vein walls and the one way valves. The blood clot, left untreated, can be life threatening. A piece of the clot can break loose and cause a pulmonary embolism (obstruction of the pulmonary artery causing stoppage of blood flow to the lungs) sometimes resulting in death. Please remember, a DVT can be treated. If you are experiencing pain, redness, heat, or skin discoloration in your leg consult a physician for treatment immediately. Also, seek professional advice on preventable measures, including the amount of compression to wear in support stockings.
Age is not a limiting factor in DVT. DVT can strike men and women of all ages and walks of life with relative little warning. So keep a friend or loved one healthy tell them about DVT and how to prevent it by wearing compression stockings and compression hose and following our tips…
- Exercise your legs regularly when sitting or laying for a long period of time. This can be a simple as making figure 8’s with your feet, or walking for just a few minutes.
- When sitting, stretch your legs and change position frequently.
- Breathe deeply frequently.
- Elevate your legs whenever possible.
- Be careful about leg rest that compress the calf or behind the knee.
- Avoid excessive alcohol intake (it dehydrates the body).
- Drink plenty of water.
- Wear loose, non-binding clothes when traveling.
- Wear compression stockings or support socks.
In 2008 the acting Surgeon General, Dr. Steven Galston, issued a Call to Action to urge all Americans to learn about and prevent DVT. Deep vein thrombosis affects up to 600,000 people yearly and results in death of 100,000 American a year from pulmonary embolism.
The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is also concerned with DVT awareness. It has awarded a 5 year $1 million dollar grant to a non-profit program called “This is Serious”. This program is designed to raise awareness of DVT to women and their families. It targets women because they are at risk and because they are very involved in decisions for the entire family. The program makes it clear that DVT can be fatal and urges people who develop symptoms to seek help immediately.
The 1st year focused on women and DVT and targeted wormen when they accessed hospital care. The 2nd (current year) targets the obstretric field, women have a greater risk for a blood clot when they are pregnant and the 6 weeks following delivery of the baby. The 3rd year will focus on trauma and surgery risks, 4th year will be on cancer and 5th year will expand the entire program to more sites.
Be successful in keeping your New Year’s Resolution for a Healthier You by being more compliant in wearing your support stockings and support socks. The simple act of wearing your support stockings or suppport socks will help prevent a DVT. The effort is well worth the trouble when you find how much better your legs feel and how the compression stockings and socks can improve your quality of life! GOAL REACHED!
Be sure to tell your family and friends about DVT and how to prevent it,