Reducing your risk of DVT

DVT is a common medical condition which occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg or the pelvis. It can block off or reduce the flow of blood in the vein and cause pain and swelling in the leg. This can result in lifelong disability with painful leg swelling, varicose veins and leg ulcers. Sometimes the blood clot in the leg can break off and travel to the arteries of the lung and cause a pulmonary embolism —this may cause breathing difficulties and chest pain and may be fatal.

A doctor or a nurse will assess your risk of DVT when you are admitted to hospital. If you are considered to be at high risk of developing DVT in hospital, preventative measures may be taken. For example:

  • You may be given medication to stop your blood from clotting too quickly (anticoagulant medication)—this may be given as injections or as tablets
  • Compression stockings to help the blood flow in your veins
  • Calf pumps will sometimes be put on your legs in the operating theatre during your operation to help the blood flow in your veins


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