A serious condition that can affect your health for the rest of your life, deep vein (or venous) thrombosis, also knowns as simply DVT, is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of your body, usually in lower extremities. If left untreated, the blood clot can break off and travel towards the lungs, blocking one of the pulmonary arteries and resulting in pulmonary embolism, which can potentially be fatal. This disastrous combination of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism is a condition called venous thromboembolism.
DVT and pulmonary embolism are not completely uncommon and the statistics according to the CDC are merciless:
- Almost 1 million people can be affected by DVT/PT in the US every year.
- Up to 100,000 Americans die of DVT/PE every year.
- Up to 30% of people diagnosed with thromboembolism can still die within 1 month of the diagnosis.
- About 25% of PE cases end in sudden death.
- 50% of DVT patients will experience long-term complications even after the treatment, such as pain, swelling and discoloration in the affected area (a condition called post-thrombotic syndrome).
- About 33% of DVT/PE patients will experience a recurrence within 10 years.
- Up to 8% of the population in the US has a genetic risk factor which makes them more suscetible to developing thromboembolism.