The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is working toward developing a comprehensive public health agenda to promote and improve the health of people with blood disorders.

In this video patients, family members and health professionals talk about their experiences with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism (PE).

  • Source: CDC

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

It is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Most deep vein clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. If the vein swells, the condition is called thrombophlebitis. A deep vein thrombosis can break loose and cause a serious problem in the lung, called a pulmonary embolism.

Sitting still for a long time can make you more likely to get a DVT. Some medicines and disorders that increase your risk for blood clots can also lead to DVTs. Common symptoms are

  • Warmth and tenderness over the vein
  • Pain or swelling in the part of the body affected
  • Skin redness

Treatment includes medicines to ease pain and inflammation, break up clots and keep new clots from forming. Keeping the affected area raised and applying moist heat can also help. If you are taking a long car or plane trip, take a break, walk or stretch your legs and drink plenty of liquids.

Pulmonary Embolism

PE is a sudden blockage in a lung artery. The cause is usually ablood clot in the leg called a deep vein thrombosis that breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream to the lung. Pulmonary embolism is a serious condition that can cause

  • Permanent damage to the affected lung
  • Low oxygen levels in your blood
  • Damage to other organs in your body from not getting enough oxygen

If a clot is large, or if there are many clots, pulmonary embolism can cause death.

Half the people who have pulmonary embolism have no symptoms. If you do have symptoms, they can include shortness of breath, chest pain or coughing up blood. Symptoms of a blood clot include warmth, swelling, pain, tenderness and redness of the leg. The goal of treatment is to break up clots and help keep other clots from forming.

  • NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Last Updated: 2015-08-22