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Rapid Lysis of Deep Vein Thrombosis by Low Molecular Weight Heparin

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  • Images In Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Medicine


What is VTE? Venous thromboembolism (thrahm-bö-EM-bö-lizm), or VTE, describes two related conditions: deep vein throm- bosis (DVT) and a more serious complication called pul- monary embolism (PE), which is an emergency. Both are blood clots in the veins and highly preventable. There are ways to prevent and treat VTE, but you can help identify the warning signs of VTE to save lives. DVT is a blood clot that usually forms in the veins of the lower leg or calf, and can extend to involve the large deep veins of the upper legs or thighs. Only rarely does DVT occur in an arm and usually occurs because of intravenous (IV) access lines, or in athletic individuals due to repetitive injury. Your legs and arms have two major types of veins: superficial and deep. The superficial veins are near the surface of the skin where they are sometimes visible, whereas the deep veins are located near the bones and are surrounded by muscle. Contraction or squeezing of the muscles around the deep veins sends blood back to the heart. A blood clot that develops in a deep vein can block this flow of blood and may or may not cause symptoms. DVT is not usually life threatening, but it can be if the blood clots break loose and go into the lungs. This condi- tion is known as pulmonary embolism (PE) which can be fatal if the travel- ing clot, called an “embolus,” clogs the main lung arteries. Many people die in the first hour from a PE, 100,000 in To find out more about the Vascular Disease Foundation, call 888.833.4463 or visit us online at Venous Thromboembolism (VTE): What you need to know about risk factors, symptoms, and treatment the United States each year, making it the third most common cause of vascu- lar death. DVT can cause leg swelling that is usually treated with 3-6 months of a blood thinner. A long-term side effect of DVT is the development of the post- thrombotic syndrome (PTS). About one-third of patients who experience a

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