Preventing a deep vein thrombosis, also known as a DVT, is vital. A DVT is a blood clot that forms in the deep veins of the legs most commonly, but it can also occur in the veins of the upper extremities. That's because the blood clot, which usually forms in a calf or thigh deep veins, can partially or completely block blood flow back to the heart and cause damage to the one-way valves in the veins. The clot can also break free and travel through the blood to major organs, such as your lungs -- which can be fatal. This is called a pulmonary embolism.
About 350,000 Americans are diagnosed with DVT and pulmonary embolism each year, although it is estimated that some 300,000 more adults have undiagnosed DVT/PT. The condition has a 6%-12% mortality rate. If you're at risk, there is much you can do to prevent DVT.
Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis -- a blood clot in a deep vein -- may be difficult to identify. That's because DVT symptoms are similar to many other health problems.
If you're at risk for DVT -- you are over 60, you smoke, you are overweight, you sit for long periods of time -- stay alert to DVT symptoms. If you have symptoms, learn what you can do to confirm a diagnosis.