Signs and Symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis
In some, there may be no symptoms of DVT, but most common symptoms include:1,2
- Pain, swelling and tenderness in one leg most commonly in the calf (symptoms in both legs is uncommon)
- Warm skin around the area of the clot
- Skin turning to a reddish or bluish colour over the affected area.
Seek immediate medical attention if you have pain, swelling and tenderness in your leg and you develop breathlessness and chest pain.
What is a Pulmonary Embolism? A pulmonary embolism is when a clot that has formed from DVT travels to the lungs and causes a blockage. Read more DVT poses many risks to your long-term health; If the blood clot becomes dislodged it can travel to the lungs and cause pulmonary embolism (PE). Following a DVT you are also at risk of developing post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) whereby damage to the veins (from the presence of the DVT) leads to permanent disruption to how well the blood flows back up from your feet/lower limbs. Over time this leads to swelling, pain and can cause chronic disability.3
What risk factors increase the risk of DVT?
DVT can develop at any age but is most common in people over the age of 40. Other risk factors for developing DVT include:
- Having a family history of DVT
- Being overweight or obese
- Having damaged blood vessels
- Having certain conditions that cause your blood to clot more easily than usual, such as cancer (including chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatment), heart and lung disease, thrombophilia and Hughes syndrome
- Being inactive or immobile when travelling during long journeys. This can slow blood flow which increases the risk of clots developing
- Pregnancy – Blood clots more easily during pregnancy
- Woman on contraceptive pills and hormone replacement therapy. These can increase the likelihood of blood clotting.
- Thompson A. JAMA. Deep Vein Thrombosis. 313(20):2090. Return to content
- NHS Choices. DVT [Internet]. [cited 2016 Dec 7]. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Deep-vein-thrombosis/Pages/introduction.aspx NHS Choices. DVT [Internet]. [cited 2016 Dec 7]. Available from: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Deep-vein-thrombosis/Pages/introduction.aspx Return to content
- Thrombosis UK. Post Thrombotic Syndrome [Internet]. [cited 2016 Dec 7]. Available from: http://thrombosisuk.org/downloads/thrombosisuk-pts.pdf. Thrombosis UK. Post Thrombotic Syndrome [Internet]. [cited 2016 Dec 7]. Available from: http://thrombosisuk.org/downloads/thrombosisuk-pts.pdf. Return to content