What is Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Deep vein thrombosis, often referred to as DVT, is a life-threatening condition that occurs when blood moves too slowly through the veins, causing it to form a clot deep in a vein. Clots of this nature are usually, but not always, formed within the veins of the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis.
How serious is it?
Deep vein thrombosis is a major cause of morbidity in patients during hospitalization.
Developing a clot in a deep vein puts you at risk for damage to the veins and organs as well as other life-threatening problems.
DVT is also the third most common cardiovascular disease after heart attack and stroke, and can create a high risk for the development of pulmonary embolism, which is a serious and sometimes life-threatening complication of deep vein thrombosis.
Who is at risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis?
Seniors over the age of 60 are more at risk for developing deep vein thrombosis. In fact, elderly people over the age of 70 are 4 to 6 times more likely to get a deep vein thrombosis than younger people, and the risk doubles with each decade of aging.
Other risk factors besides age are:
• Having a previous blood clot
• Having a family history of blood clots
• Being sedentary or immobile- on bed rest or sitting for lengths of time
• Having a clotting disorder or thicker-than-usual blood
• Being obese
How can the development of deep vein thrombosis be prevented?
There are ways that you can help the senior in your life to prevent dangerous deep vein thrombosis from developing.
• Lose weight. Since obesity is a risk factor, it is important to monitor your senior’s weight. Talk to their doctor if you have questions about whether your senior is at a healthy weight and learn ways that they can safely lose any excess.
• Quit smoking. If your senior or loved one uses tobacco products, urge them to quit.
• Get regular exercise. If your senior lives a sedentary lifestyle, they need to become more active to help reduce their risk of DVT and other major health issues. Hire professional caregivers to encourage your senior to get daily exercise or join them for walks.
• Move around. Have hired caregivers help your senior so that they aren’t sitting or laying still in one place for too long, which increases the chances of getting DVT. Caregivers can help or encourage your senior to be moving every two hours.
• Check blood pressure. Make sure your senior is regularly monitoring their blood pressure, which is something else that caregivers can assist with.
• Fluid intake. Encourage your senior to drink plenty of fluids every day.
If you notice that your senior shows signs of swelling, pain, or tenderness, often in the legs, be sure to contact their health care provider immediately as early detection is key in the treatment of DVT.
If you or an aging loved one are considering a Caregiver in Memorial, TX, contact the caring staff at Personal Caregiving Services at 832-564-0338.Providing Care in Houston, Bellaire, West University Place, Katy, and Sugar Land and the surrounding areas.