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Washington County Health System
  Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT)



Doctors at Washington County Hospital, like Drs. Mbaoua, Salvagno, and Waheed, are showing off their socks in support of DVT awareness month.

Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a commonly occurring medical condition with potentially serious and life threatening complications. It occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the large veins, usually in the lower limbs, that either partially or completely blocks circulation. It may be caused by a variety of risk factors and triggering events, including cancer, obesity or restricted mobility due to acute medical illness, stroke, major surgery, previous DVT, or respiratory failure. DVT symptoms may include tenderness, pain in the leg, swelling and discoloration or redness. The condition can result in health complications, such as leg ulcers, pulmonary embolism, and even death if not diagnosed and treated effectively.  Cigarette smoking may contribute to the development of DVT.

Pulmonary embolism (PE) can occur when a blood clot or a fragment of it breaks loose from the wall of the vein and migrates to the lungs, where it blocks a pulmonary artery or one of its branches. Of those who develop PE, up to 200,000 may die each year. PE signs and symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, coughing up blood, and fainting.

Up to half of DVT cases may have few or no symptoms. To help determine your risk for DVT, please complete the following quiz. If you think you are experiencing the symptoms of DVT or PE, you should seek medical attention immediately. 

Check box if you have had:
1. Recent hip or knee joint replacement surgery
2. Broken hip, pelvis, or leg within the last month
3. Stroke within the last month
4. Serious trauma within the last month (for example, a fall, broken bone or car accident)
5. Spinal cord injury resulting in paralysis
6. History of blood clots—either DVT or pulmonary embolism
7. Family history of blood clots (thrombosis)
8. Family history of blood clotting disorders
9. Recent arthroscopic knee surgery
10. Cancer (current or previous)
11. Recently had major surgery
12. Recent laparoscopic surgery that lasted more than 45 minutes
13. Recently confined to bed rest for more than 72 hours
14. Plaster cast that kept you from moving your limb within the last month
15. Tube in blood vessel in neck or chest that delivers blood or medicine directly to heart (also called central venous access)
16. Planning minor surgery in the near future
17. Varicose veins
18. A history of inflammatory bowel disease (for example, Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis)
19. Legs are currently swollen
20. Overweight or obese
21. Heart attack within the last month
22. Congestive heart failure within the last month
23. Serious infection within the last month (for example pneumonia)
24. Lung disease within the last month (for example, emphysema or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
25. Currently on bed rest or restricted mobility
Women only:
1. Use birth control or hormone replacement therapy
2. Pregnant or had a baby within the last month
Your age:
75 or older
60—74 years old
41—60 years old
40 or younger


© 2008
Washington County Health System
251 East Antietam Street
Hagerstown, MD 21740

TDD: 1-800-735-2258