Are you at risk for DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)? DVT kills up to 100,000 people each year- suddenly and often with no warning. There are ways to reduce the risk of DVT including weight management, exercise, and medical visits, but also a number of lifestyle changes that reduce your chances, particularly if you have limited mobility or physical disability.
Deep Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month in March attempts to shed light on DVT symptoms that may serve as a warning or sign to the public. Around 600,000 people contract DVT, most commonly blood clots in legs, and age doesn’t always play a factor as around 25% are under the age of 50. Nearly 100,000 die from DVT each year in the US and there are pragmatic ways to reduce your risk of this quiet and deadly condition. Individuals with mobility restrictions or disabilities are most at-risk for developing a dangerous clot, which could then travel through the blood to other vital organs in the body.
If you have limited mobility, talk to the experts at Pacific Mobility; they offer quality mobility aids and devices to keep you active and reduce your risk of DVT.
Deep Vein Thrombosis
DVT refers to blood clots that occur often in your legs, and that can block the flow of blood to our heart. Many people don’t realize they have a problem until it is too late. The danger of clots is that they can break loose and travel to other organs, including your lungs or brain, causing a stroke, heart attack, or sudden death. Why do blood clots form in the first place? It could be due to medical issues, injury, or lifestyle habits.
There are numerous risk factors that play a significant role in whether you will get a blood clot, including pregnancy, certain medication, surgery, injury, inactivity, and medical conditions. Also, smoking puts you at greater risk of contracting a DVT, so make healthy lifestyle changes; quit smoking. Keep an eye on your blood pressure, too; have your doctor check it at least annually to ensure you are within a healthy range to prevent risk of clots as well as stroke.
DVT is a common affliction during travel; sitting still for extended periods can cause clots that lead to complications. Try to maintain some degree of movement at least every two hours when traveling; take breaks, get out of the car, move around the plan. Wear clothes that are not tight and that are non-constricting, and make sure that you stay hydrated with plenty of water.
It is integral to keep moving in order to prevent clots, but what if you have physical limitations or restrictions? Find mobility aids that accommodate walking and simple stretches of your calves and heels. This could be a walker or cane- or you may need ramps and lifts to maintain physical activity. Talk to your provider about how to facilitate physical movement and other steps to prevent DVT.
Mobility aids are added support when you have physical limitations or mobility issues, and they can prevent injuries from falls that easily may lead to DVT. If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, even a simple bruise can cause life-threatening complications. Visit a mobility retailer to learn more.
If you have recently had surgery, it is important to always follow post-op instructions. Providers will inform you about the risk of clots and aftercare instructions, so do what they tell you to do. Around 60% of DVT cases occur in those individuals who have recently had surgery or been hospitalized. This may be due to anesthesia, which expands the veins theoretically allowing clots to pass through and travel.
A major indicator of whether you will contract DVT is your family history; have you a relative, sibling, or parent that developed blood clots? The risk increases based on prevalence; for example, if you have two siblings with DVT, your own risk goes up 50 times! Make sure to inform providers of this family history as it can impact care to prevent clots.
Another step to take to avoid DVT is weight management. Are you overweight? Those that are overweight are at twice the risk of developing DVT, so losing weight may help prevent clots. Additionally, it has been shown that adding fish to the diet can lower your risk of DVT. Fish oil capsules have the same advantages, according to studies.
The symptoms of DVT may be misleading, such as shortness of breath or overall pain, so report these experiences to your provider promptly, particularly if you have risk factors for developing DVT like recent surgery.
Want to avoid blood clots? Stay active with mobility aids from Pacific Mobility; a nasty fall can cause trauma that manifests into big health problems later, including DVT. Aids and devices may reduce your risk of a fall which preserves your wellbeing, independence, and quality of life later.
President, Husband, Father, Grandfather Graduate of UC Davis- Bio Sci Major- Go Aggies! Jeff has extensive experience in all of Pacific Mobility’s products and services, and specializes in accessibility products as well as stairlifts, ceiling lifts and custom wheel chairs. His hobbies include spending time with family, gardening, mountain biking, exercising and off road motorcycle riding.
24 years as Owner/President of Pacific Mobility Center – selling, installing, and servicing stairlifts, porch lifts, ceiling lifts, pool lifts, handicap ramping, specialty wheelchairs, scooters, power wheel chairs, and other power mobility devices
Certified Environmental Access Consultant since 2008
Licensed General Contractor since 1998
Certified Aging in Place Specialist since 2016
Board Member for Home Access Professionals
Member of Association of Members of the Accessibility Equipment Industry (AEMA)