March is DVT Awareness Month. This month I would like to address DVT (deep vein thrombosis) to inform you and your loved ones what a DVT is, risk factors of a DVT, and the symptoms of DVT. I want you to become an activist and recognize when medical attention should be obtained. Roughly 600,000 people in the United States are affected by DVT each year. Not all of these are hospitalized. We all fear AIDS, breast cancer and traffic accidents, but what about DVT? DVT kills more people every year than these maladies combined!
So what is a DVT and how is it formed? The arteries transport the oxygen rich blood away from the heart which is a one way pump. The veins are thin-walled blood vessels that carry oxygen poor blood from the tissues back to the heart. In order to move the blood against gravity the leg muscles squeeze the deep veins to move the blood back to the lungs and heart. The human body has three types of veins; superficial veins which are the veins that are close to the skin (the ones that you can see), deep veins which lie within the muscle structure within the body and perforating veins which connect the deep veins to the superficial veins. The veins contain one-way valves for the return of the blood back to the heart. When these valves do not close, stagnation of the blood can occur and a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) can form most often near a venous valve. The DVT can permanently damage the vein wall and valve with scarring or fibrosis which can cause them to become incompetent resulting in reflux (backward) flow of blood and venous congestion. Compression socks and stockings work as a secondary pump and along with the calf muscles close the valves to move the blood back to the heart. Consult with your physician to determine if you have risk factors and seek advice on appropriate preventative measures, including the amount of compression to wear. We carry many compression socks and compression stockings which can help prevent DVT. Please check out our Jobst, Medi, Sigvaris and Juzo support socks and support hose. Did you know all of the manufacturers offer a extensive line of garments which range from athletic socks, men’s dress and casual socks to women’s opaque and sheer thigh high stockings and pantyhose so that each of us can choose a style or styles that are targeted at our lifestyle?
Next week we look at Risk Factors for DVT…
Let’s all get out there and let our friends know about DVT,