Hey folks - each March there is a national awareness effort for DVT and it's important to me share info with our group about Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT. I hope this note doesn't come across odd or morose. Your training and wellness mean a great deal to me. I want all of you to know about DVT and understand the risk factors, given my own experience with it. Not sure what DVT is? Read on.
DVT is a common but dangerous medical condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the veins, nearly always in the lower limbs and typically the calf muscle. A life-threatening complication of DVT is called a pulmonary embolism (PE). A PE occurs when blood clots break loose, then travel and accumulate into the lungs or even the heart. These accumulated clots damage lung tissue and block circulation to other vital organs, which creates a life-threatening condition. DVT can affect a wide variety of folks, inactive or active, etc.
* Up to two million Americans suffer from DVT each year
* DVT-related pulmonary embolisms cause more than 300,000 deaths annually -- that's more than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
* DVT-related pulmonary embolisms are the most common cause of preventable hospital death.
DVT/PE is a personal concern to me. As many of you know, the pulmonary embolisms which I developed in 2008 in my lungs were caused by DVT. I wasn't mindful of the symptoms, I kept training and racing despite the pain and soon the clotting spread to my lungs. Over time, these clots permanently blocked the primary vein in my leg which 2 surgeries could not fix. After 4 months, I was fortunate to talk to a doctor friend who convinced me to quickly get medical help. The PE and clots ended my running and triathlon career, something I cherished for 30+ years and miss dearly. DVT and PE are very serious issues, and I encourage you to take the risk assessment tool; link is listed below.
here's the website: http://www.preventdvt.org/
here's the risk assessment tool: http://www.preventdvt.org/riskFactors/assessmentTool.aspx