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Senior Health: What Is Deep Vein Thrombosis?

By Jennifer Thompson, 9:00 am on

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, occurs when a blood clot passes into a deep, interior region of a leg and becomes trapped in a vein. The condition is considered serious and requires immediate medical intervention. The more Nashville in-home caregivers know about DVT, the better they are able to look after their loved ones.

Common Causes of DVT

Clots form and become DVTs when blood circulation slows. Circulation interference commonly happens when an individual remains in the same sitting or standing position for two hours or longer. Becoming bedridden from illness or hospitalization can also contribute to clot formation. Some seniors have an abnormal clotting tendency, which makes clots form easily or more quickly compared to other people. Clots may also form and travel after an injury that causes extensive bruising or internal bleeding.

DVT Symptoms

Initially, a deep vein thrombosis may not cause symptoms or cause only minor symptoms. The notable signs include redness, swelling and warmth in the general area affected by the clot. Seniors often experience varying degrees of aching in the calf or thigh of the affected leg. The discomfort is often noticeable when walking or standing. As the problem progresses, the individuals experience pain when the area is touched.

DVT Treatment

Treatment is designed to prevent the clot from enlarging and keep the clot from traveling to the heart, lungs or brain. Treatment is also aimed at preventing clot formation in the future. Anticoagulant medications are typically prescribed. The medications act in various ways to interfere with clot formation. Seniors may be required to take a prescription for a designated length of time or they may remain on the medication indefinitely depending on the advice of a physician. In severe cases, surgical removal of the clot may be required.

Blood Clot Prevention

Seniors can prevent blood clots from forming by:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Consuming at least two liters of fluid everyday
  • Getting sufficient amounts of physical activity
  • Changing positions every two hours if sitting, standing or lying for long periods of time

Should your loved one need help recovering from DVT, Home Care Assistance can help. We are trusted Nashville elder care provider that enables seniors to age in place by helping them with daily tasks such as medication reminders, prescription pick-ups, physical therapy, and personal care. Learn more about our services by calling (615) 656-4999 today to speak with a reliable Care Manager.