Feeds

What is deep vein thrombosis?

'Economy class syndrome' uncovered

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Also in this week's column:

What is deep vein thrombosis?

Asked by David White of Ramsgate, South Africa

Deep vein thrombosis (aka deep venous thrombosis) or DVT is the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) in a deep vein of the body. It most commonly affects the leg veins but can affect the arm or pelvis veins.

DVT has become popularly known as "economy class syndrome" because of its association with the immobility and dehydration that can occur in long distance air travel.

On average, DVT occurs in about one in every 1,000 people per year. However, "[N]early one million patients are treated for deep venous thrombosis annually in the United States" according to vascular surgeons Drs K Kasirajan, R Milner, and E Chaikof of Emory University in Atlanta, writing in the June 2006 Seminars in Vascular Surgery.

Although there may frequently be no symptoms of DVT, usually symptoms that do appear include pain, swelling, redness of the leg (or arm or pelvis), and dilatation of the surface veins.

DVT can be very serious. Between one and five per cent of those with DVT die. They die not from DVT itself but from a pulmonary embolism - the most dangerous complication of DVT.

In a DVT pulmonary embolism, the blood clot in the leg (or arm or pelvis) becomes dislodged from its site and blocks (embolises) the arterial blood supply of one of the lungs. Risk factors of DVT include age, immobilisation, tobacco use, female gender, use of oral contraceptives, as well as Virchow’s triad - the three factors that affect blood clot formation (rate of blood flow, thickness of blood, and quality of the blood vessel wall).

DVT occurs far more often in older people. It occurs in only about one in 100,000 of those under age 18. This is because children are relatively more active, have better quality veins, and even have a higher rate of heartbeats per minute. As the population ages, more DVT would be expected to be seen, and is.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.