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Deep Vein Thrombosis Health Center

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Danger! Deep Vein Thrombosis

Could you have a life-threatening blood clot?

Reducing Your Risk of Deep Vein Thrombosis

The good news is that deep vein thrombosis is a highly preventable condition. If more people knew about it, and took simple precautions against it, the death rate would be dramatically reduced.

Here are some ways to prevent deep vein thrombosis:

  • Find out whether you are at risk -- look at the list of list of risk factors and research whether any family members have ever had deep vein thrombosis.
  • If you have a family history of deep vein thrombosis, ask if you should be screened for blood disorders that increase the risk of clotting.
  • Make sure to stretch your legs regularly during long flights or car rides. In addition to stretching your legs, make a point of getting up and walking around every hour.
  • Talk to your doctor about the risks of deep vein thrombosis before any surgery or medical treatments.
  • Keep a healthy weight, since obesity increases your risks.
  • Eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly.

If you have had deep vein thrombosis before, you are higher risk of having it again. So you should follow the above advice, and you should also:

  • Consider wearing tight elastic hose on your legs that will improve your circulation.
  • Ask your doctor whether you need preventive medicine before long trips.
  • Make sure you get preventive medicine before surgery or other medical procedures.

Wilcox stresses that more people need to learn about the condition. "DVT is preventable in most cases," she tells WebMD, "and awareness is the best way to prevent it."

Since her own illness, Wilcox has joined up with the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis, an educational coalition sponsored by the pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis. She now does whatever she can to educate people about the condition.

"I don't speak out for myself, but for the memory of all the people who didn't survive this horrible condition," she says, "And to prevent other people from ever having to face it."

Reviewed on April 27, 2007

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