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Blood clots in the leg, deep-vein thrombosis (DVT)

What is deep-vein thrombosis?

Veins are blood vessels that carry blood from the body's various tissues and organs back to the heart. Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) is blood clot formation in the large, deep veins of the leg (see the X-ray of the leg), thigh, pelvis and arm and shoulder area. If a vein is blocked by a clot (a thrombus), prevents back flow of blood to the heart. The area below the clot is then filled with blood and serum, and swollen. Loosen the clot and follow the flow of blood it ends up in the lungs - it is a pulmonary embolism.

Deep-vein thrombosis occurs frequently.
The incidence increases markedly after 50 years of age. Each year, approximately 2 in 1,000 people over 50 years, blood clots in the veins. Annual treated approx. 4500 patients for deep venous thrombosis or pulmonary embolism at Norwegian hospitals. Men have a greater risk of recurrent blood clots than women.

How are long-term prospects?
The prognosis of DVT is high, and the mortality rate is only 1%. Blood clots in the arms; shoulders and place give negligible risk of dangerous complications. Blood clots in the legs or pelvis results in a slightly greater risk.

deep-vein thrombosis of the upper extremities

There may be complications: Pieces of a clot may detach and be transported to the lungs. This is pulmonary embolism, and the condition can be serious. Up to 20-30% develop so-called post-thrombotic syndrome. This is a condition characterized by constant swelling, varicose veins, chronic eczema and possible ulceration of the skin on the leg. The cause of this condition is that the vein is not completely open for the disease, and that the pressure in the arteries below the clot increases. This leads to fluid leakage and changes in the skin. Post-thrombotic syndrome in many cases can be prevented by use of elastic stocking.

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