What are the risks of DVT?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that develops within a deep vein in the body, usually in the leg.
It can cause pain and swelling in the leg and may lead to complications such as pulmonary embolism. This is a serious condition that occurs when a piece of blood clot breaks off into the bloodstream and blocks one of the blood vessels in the lungs.
In some cases, there may be no symptoms of DVT. If symptoms do occur they can include pain, swelling and tenderness in one of your legs (usually your calf), a heavy ache in the affected area, warm skin in the area of the clot and red skin, particularly at the back of your leg below the knee.
DVT usually (although not always) affects one leg. The pain may be worse when you bend your foot upward towards your knee.
If left untreated, about one in ten people with a DVT will develop a pulmonary embo-lism. This can cause breath-lessness which may come on gradually or suddenly, chest pain which may become worse when you breathe in and sudden collapse.
Both DVT and pulmonary embolism require urgent investigation and treatment.
Seek immediate medical attention if you have pain, swelling and tenderness in your leg, and you develop breathlessness and chest pain.