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Deep Vein Thrombosis and Compression Socks

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Deep Vein Thrombosis and Compression Socks

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein. These clots usually develop in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis, but they can also occur in the arm.

It is important to know about DVT because it can happen to anybody and can cause serious illness, disability, and in some cases, death. The good news is that DVT is preventable and treatable if discovered early.

Thrombosis prevention is also known as thrombosis prophylaxis. It comprises treatments that are designed to counteract the formation of blood clots inside blood vessels. These prevention measures often begin just after someone has had surgery, as this puts them at higher risk of having deep vein thrombosis, largely due to lack of movement afterward. Additionally, DVT is often linked to air travel, as sitting in confined spaces without moving for a long period of time negatively influences the blood flow in the vessels.

Risk factors

Being aware of these common risk factors, and taking steps to avoid them, is an important part of helping to prevent thrombosis:

  • Lack of exercise

  • Taking oral contraceptives

  • Being overweight/obese

  • Smoking

  • Dehydration

  • Long periods of inactivity, lying or sitting down, such as on long journeys (especially long-haul flights) or while in the hospital.

Thrombosis prophylaxis treatment options

There are several ways to help prevent thrombosis. For example, wearing compression stockings can help reduce swelling in tissues and promote better blood flow. In high-risk patients – such as hospitalized patients at increased risk of thrombosis who are bleeding or are at high risk of major bleeding – medical compression stockings (MCS) (from 15 to 30 mmHg) and anticoagulant thromboprophylaxis are recommended.

Medical compression stockings are especially recommended. Campbell County Health Home Medical Resources has a versatile supply of medical compression stockings in both plain and seasonal designs.

Use of compression socks or stockings is also suggested during long-distance traveling, to prevent DVT incidence in patients at risk. This is especially effective when combined with regular exercise during the journey, such as walking down the aisle and doing leg exercises.

Source: JOBST

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