Caregiver Awareness: Basics of Deep Vein Thrombosis
Caregivers in Highland Park IL
March is Deep Vein Thrombosis Month, the perfect opportunity for you to learn more about this potentially deadly health complication, what you can do as a family caregiver to help protect your aging parent from suffering from such a condition, and what you should do to handle it if one should occur.
While deep vein thrombosis is often simply referred to as a "blood clot" it is important to make the distinction that there are several different types of blood clots and deep vein thrombosis is just one of them. As the name suggests, this type of blood clot, or thrombus, forms in one of the deep veins of the body. Most often this happens in the legs and though it can cause some symptoms such as swelling in the area where the clot has formed or pain in the surrounding area, even serious clots may not cause any symptoms at all, which is why these can be so incredibly dangerous.
The danger of deep vein thrombosis occurs when the entire clot or a piece of the clot breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream. It can then move up through the body and get stuck in your lungs, creating a very dangerous situation. Fortunately these clots are largely preventable and treatable if detected quickly enough.
Some things that you should know about deep vein thrombosis include:
• The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that somewhere around 1 to 2 people per 1,000, or around 900,000 people experience deep vein thrombosis each year
• Between 60,000 and 100,000 people who develop deep vein thrombosis will experience venous thromboembolism, or the clot breaking loose and becoming lodged in the lungs or elsewhere in the body, and will die from this condition
• Approximately 10 to 30 percent of patients who die from this condition will die within the first month of receiving the diagnosis
• For approximately 25 percent of those who die from deep vein thrombosis-related issues, sudden death was the first symptoms that they experienced
• Half of people who experience deep vein thrombosis will have lingering effects from the condition for several years or even for the rest of their lives. These effects can include discoloration, swelling, scaling of the skin ono the affected limb, or pain in the surrounding area
• Around 33 percent of people who suffer from deep vein thrombosis will experience another instance of the condition within 10 years of the first
• Though many of the risk factors associated with developing deep vein thrombosis are situational, as much as 8 percent of the population also have inherited risk factors that increase the chances that they will experience a blood clot. It is important to be aware of this inherited risk so that you can be even more vigilant about preventing these clots.
If you worry that your elderly parent is at risk of developing deep vein thrombosis, especially if she will be immobile for a period of time, talk to her doctor about ways that you can help reduce the risk and keep her safe.
If you or an aging loved one are considering help for family caregivers in Highland Park, IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.