A World Thrombosis Day Ipsos survey showed little awareness about DVT in countries around the world. Apart from less awareness, there are many myths surrounding DVT, which need to be busted. As World Thrombosis Day approaches, Dr Pinjala Ramakrishna, Vascular Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals, Hyderabad debunks six myths about DVT:
Myth: Blood clots are really rare, so we don't need to worry about thrombosis
Reality: Worldwide, one in four people die of conditions caused by blood clots. One particular form of thrombosis -- deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) -- is a serious and underdiagnosed medical condition that results when a blood clot forms in a vein. Complications from DVT kill more people each year than breast cancer, motor vehicle accidents and HIV combined.
DVT can strike anyone and can cause serious illness, disability, and in some cases, death. Your risk of DVT increases if you have a major surgery, cancer, heart or lung diseases or have a family history of DVT.
Myth: Healthy and active people are not at risk for DVT
Reality: Almost anyone can be affected by DVT: whether you are young or old, a couch potato or an athlete. In fact, athletes are at increased risk if they have experienced recent physical injury, are dehydrated, and/or partake in long-distance travel for games and other events.
Myth: DVT is most serious in elderly and sick people
Reality: While risk is higher for that group, DVT/PE can be life-threatening for young, fit people too. And even if they are lucky enough to survive DVT/PE, the damage it causes can leave a patient with life-long pain.
Myth: Birth control medications will lead to DVT
Reality: While studies have shown increased risk of blood clots while taking oral contraceptives due to increased estrogen levels, the vast majority of women who take these medications will have no complications. Women, who are obese, smoke or over age 40 when using oral contraceptives have a higher risk of developing clots. A balanced diet, healthy weight and talking to your doctor about the benefits and risks of oral contraceptives can help.
Myth: Women are at greater risk for DVT
Reality: While women have an increased risk of blood clots while pregnant or on oral contraceptives, DVT is more common in men.
Myth: If you have DVT, you will feel a lot of pain in legs or in the thigh area
Reality: The most important indicator of DVT is swelling. Yes, the vast majority of people feel pain in their legs or thigh, but there are many potential causes for leg pain and not as many for swelling. Another notable symptom is lower back pain in the pelvis area, specifically the sacrum. If you experience swelling and/or pain, go to the emergency room. An ultrasound can diagnose a clot.