February 27, 2021

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What is VTE?

3 min read
A condition in which a blood clot is form in deep vein of leg, arm or groin is called venous thromboembolism (VTE). Certainly VTE is a life threatening health condition. Blood clot formed in legs can travel to lungs and block the blood circulation causing pulmonary embolism (PE).

What is VTE? VTE is a serious problem in body when a blood clot forms in vein mostly in the deep veins of leg; groin or arm is called venous thromboembolism (VTE). It’s also called deep vein thrombosis (DVT). The blood clot that forms in leg, arm or groin travels in the circulation. VTE is a very serious health problem that can have fatal consequences. Blood clotting in veins is called thrombosis furthermore it has these types:

1. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Blood clotting in deep veins of legs, arm or groin is called deep vein thrombosis (DVT)

2. Pulmonary embolism (PE)

Pulmonary embolism is mostly fatal. That happens when blood clot in deep veins of legs or arm breaks down and travels from vein to lungs. As a result it blocks blood supply in lungs.

What causes VTE?

The main cause of VTE or DVT is when blood flow changes or slows. Blood flow mostly changes because of the surgery, hospitalization, cancer, and immobilization. While in women this can happen because of pregnancy and hormones like contraceptives or estrogen for menopause can also cause clotting.

What is difference between a DVT and a VTE?

Generally blood clotting is called VTE because DVT and PE are often referred as VTE. DVT and PE are forms of VTE but both are different. As mentioned above DVT is condition when blood clot forms in deep vein of leg, arm or groin. In contrast PE is the condition when clot travels to lungs and blocks blood supply in lungs.

VTE- Leading Cause of Death and Disability

According to figures almost 10 million people around the world gets VTE annually. While many people around the world are aware of VTE. Global awareness about DVT, PE is very low much lower than the awareness of conditions like stroke, hypertension, breast cancer, prostate cancer, AIDS and heart attack.

Who gets VTE and at what age?

Anyone whether male or female can get VTE at any age. VTE has no discrimination all ages of people and all ethnicities or races can get VTE problem. There are certain factors that can increase the risk of developing clots. Those factors are mentioned above under the heading “What causes VTE?”

What are the symptoms of venous thromboembolism?

There are no specific signs or symptoms of VTE it can go undiagnosed by a doctor. The symptoms usually appear are associated with DVT or PE.

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Symptoms

A patient will get pain or tenderness that often starts in calf. Furthermore, swelling in feet, ankles, redness or noticeable discoloration and warmth are the symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT).

Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

The symptoms of pulmonary embolism are rapid breathing, unexplained shortness of breath, chest pain (gets worst on deep breath), rapid heartbeat, and light headedness or passing out.

DVT and PE are life threatening serious health conditions that require immediate medical attention. Treatment for DVT or PE can differ from person to person. But basically blood thinning medicines are use to break up the clots and prevent new ones from forming.

Bottom Line

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a serious life threatening condition that affects millions around the world. It needs serious attention to coup this problem. Proper awareness about VTE should be spread so people could know it.

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