In a recent article in The Atlantic, “When a Cramp Is Actually a Clot,” a runner tells the story about how she was diagnosed with deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Her story is typical: DVT is often mistaken by both patients and doctors for something else, such as a runner’s cramp.
An estimated one in 1,000 Americans are diagnosed each year with a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of Americans with DVTs, including those are undiagnosed, is estimated to be up to 600,000. As many as 100,000 deaths each year are directly or indirectly linked to a DVT.
A DVT alone is usually not life-threatening. Essentially, it’s a blood clot that forms in a vein deep inside a part of the body, which mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh.
But if part of the blood clot breaks loose and flows back into bloodstream, it could eventually get stuck in a passageway that is too small for it to pass through, such as those in the lungs. This results in a pulmonary embolism (PE), and that can kill you.
More than one-third of DVT patients have PE’s, according to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism, issued in 2008. “Often, the first symptom of DVT is a fatal PE,” said Dr. Elizabeth G. Nabel, director of the National Institutes of Health’s Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.
“Recent long travel; a prolonged period of remaining in the same position; and red, painful, swelling were among the causes and symptoms listed. I had all but the redness and swelling. I called my doctor. She said to go to the nearest emergency room.”
— Christine Purley, avid runner
Early diagnosis is the key to a positive outcome, and diagnosis — along with treatment — is not difficult or painful. Treatment is completely non-invasive and a quick procedure.
Learn more about Bunker Vein & Imaging Center’s non-invasive treatments for varicose veins, which left untreated can lead to deep vein thrombosis.
Call us at (512) 726-0599 to make an appointment for a free screening.