March is Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month, but most Americans don’t know it. In fact, 74% have very little knowledge of this life-threatening condition, according to a national survey conducted by the American Public Health Association.

Even if it’s not well known, DVT is not a rare condition. Up to two million Americans are affected by DVT each year, and of those two million, approximately 200,000 die. That’s more than those that die from breast cancer and AIDS combined.

So what is deep-vein thrombosis? National DVT awareness spokesperson Melanie Bloom says that DVT occurs when “a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the lower limbs.” She goes on to say that a “complication of DVT, pulmonary embolism, can occur when a fragment of a blood clot breaks loose from the wall of the vein and migrates to the lungs, where it blocks a pulmonary artery or one of its branches.”

Pulmonary embolism is the primary complication of DVT, and its most dangerous one. When DVT leads to a pulmonary embolism, it can cause shortness of breath, rapid heartbeat, coughing with blood and even death.

Risk factors for DVT are numerous, and half the time symptoms are “silent”, meaning they do not manifest. To educate yourself more about this condition, visit the website of The Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis.

The best defense against developing a DVT-related pulmonary embolism is to talk to an experienced phlebologist like Dr. Zimmet who can personally assess your risk factors and current vein health. Deep-vein thrombosis is preventable and treatable when addressed promptly and accurately.

Contact our Austin office to schedule your appointment.