Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) / Blood Clots | American Lung Association

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Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) / Blood Clots

Blood clots are a normal reaction to blood vessel injury and bleeding. Sometimes a blood clot can form in a vein deep in the body, which is called DVT. A serious and potentially life-threatening complication of these blood clots is when a deep vein clot breaks loose and travels through the blood stream, lodging in the arteries in the lungs and blocking blood flow to the lungs.

Learn About Deep Vein Thrombosis/Blood Clots

Blood clotting is normal but can be dangerous when inside a vein. Clots in veins deep in the body can break free, travel through the bloodstream and get stuck in the lungs, blocking blood flow.

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DVT/Blood Clots Symptoms, Causes and Risk Factors

There are many different factors that can increase a person's risk of developing DVT. Symptoms can include unexplained onset of shortness of breath or swelling of one of your extremities.

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Diagnosing and Treating DVT/Blood Clots

During the course of an evaluation your healthcare provider may use questionnaires, personal history, blood tests and imaging studies to determine the most likely diagnosis to fit with your symptoms.

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Living with DVT/Blood Clots

After a DVT/blood clot, patients need to learn how to live with the risk of recurrence. Anticoagulation (blood thinners) remains the mainstay of therapy, and may be needed for as little as three months, but can be lifelong treatment. The length of treatment depends on the underlying cause.

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This content was developed in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians.

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