March was Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month, a public health initiative aimed at raising awareness of this commonly occurring medical condition and its potentially fatal complication, pulmonary embolism. However, we think it is always important to keep the public informed so we’re going into April with this important information.
According to the American Heart Association, up to 2 million Americans are affected annually by DVT, more commonly known as blood clots. Most Americans have little or no awareness of DVT, according to a national survey sponsored by the American Public Health Association.
DVT occurs when a blood clot (thrombus) forms in one or more of the deep veins in your body. This usually occurs in the legs. There are different causes for DVT. It can occur if you are immobile, such as after a surgery or accident, or when you are confined to bed.
Another cause of DVT is if you have certain medical conditions that cause blood clots. DVT can be very serious, because blood clots in your veins can break loose, travel through your bloodstream and lodge in your lungs, blocking blood flow. This is called a pulmonary embolism.