Venous Thromboembolism
Venous Thromboembolism

Venous Thromboembolism What Is Venous Thromboembolism?

Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein. VTE includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep veins , usually in the lower leg, thigh, or pelvis. DVTs can also occur in the arms, especially if there is a large intravenous central line in the vein. Pulmonary embolism occurs when a clot breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs. VTE is common. As many as 600,000 VTE events occur each year in the United States.

The risk of developing VTE is highest after major surgery, major injury, or during periods of infection and inflammation. This is because blood clots can develop in veins damaged by surgery or injury. Lack of movement after surgery or while traveling long distances can raise the likelihood of blood clotting. Inflammation and serious infection also raise the likelihood of blood clots. Swelling, redness, and pain are some of the symptoms of DVT. A pulmonary embolism can cause sudden chest pain and shortness of breath. 

Sometimes VTE occurs without any obvious signs, which can make it harder to diagnose. If you have recently had surgery or have other risk factors of VTE, talk to your healthcare provider about your risk and how to prevent blood clots. Your provider will do tests to find out whether you have the condition.

If you have VTE, your provider may prescribe medicines to treat serious vein blockages and help prevent further blood clots from forming. Without treatment, VTE can restrict or block blood flow and oxygen, which can damage the body’s tissue or organs. This can be especially serious in the case of a pulmonary embolism, which blocks blood flow to the lungs. If a blood clot is large or there are many clots, a pulmonary embolism can cause death.

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