Who is at Risk to DVT?
There are factors that increase a person’s risk to developing blood clots and DVT, but it is important to know that anyone can get DVT. Some factors that put you at risk to DVT are: family history to DVT, prolonged bed rest, injury, surgery, pregnancy, birth control pills, being overweight, smoking, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, heart failure, age, and sitting for extended periods of time. The more factors you have the greater your risk. Always speak to your healthcare professional if you think you are at risk to DVT.
Approximately 5 to 8% of the U.S. population has one of several genetic risk factors, also known as inherited thrombophilias in which a genetic defect can be identified that increases the risk for thrombosis.7
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You may experience swelling, numbness, tingling, soreness and more from sitting prolonged periods of time. These can be signs of bloods clots and being at risk for DVT.
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A score of 2 points puts you at MODERATE risk for DVT.
A score of 3 or higher puts you at HIGH risk for DVT.
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Surgery always comes with risks and developing DVT is one of the common risks associated with even minor surgical procedures. Any surgery that is more than four hours or requires a long recovery period with extended bed rest or general anesthesia can increase these risks for DVT. Trauma surgeries, Cancer surgeries and surgeries to the lower half of the body, especially hip and knee replacements, also increases DVT risk.
During pregnancy the pressure in the veins in your pelvis and legs is increased which in turn increases the risk of blood clots from pregnancy for up to six weeks post partum. “VTE, which encompasses both DVT and PE, occurs in about 1 in every 1000 pregnancies. VTE actually crops up five to 10 times more frequently in expecting womenthan in other women of the same age — and 20 times more frequently in the six weeks after birth.”3
Traveling often limits your legroom. Sitting for extended periods of time, such as when traveling (flying or driving), increases your risk of developing DVT because the blood flow in the legs is restricted and slows down. The longer you are immobile, the greater your risk is of developing a blood clot. If you are at moderate or high risk for DVT you should take preventative measures while traveling. If you are traveling more than four hours, whether by air, car, bus, or train, you can be at risk for blood clots even without prior conditions.