Health & Wellness

Deep Vein Thrombosis affects over 67% patients today

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) remains a serious problem, which is often under- estimated or ignored. Positive lifestyle choices and treatment during high-risk situations could prevent this problem from further worsening.

Deep Vein Thrombosis is a serious problem today. Photograph: GoogleDeep Vein Thrombosis is a serious problem today. Photograph: Google

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is a serious
health problem today and it is no longer a rarity in India. Morbidity and mortality from VTE are a significantly underestimated; as 80% of the disease is asymptomatic and hospitalized patients are amongst the highest at risk of Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT). DVT is a serious vascular disease where the blood clot is formed in the deep veins that are the blood carriers, usually in the leg or thigh. When the clot breaks it travels to the lungs and there it can block the blood vessel which can cause serious damage and can be fatal. VTE is a common complication among patients hospitalized for major surgery or with a severe medical illness like infection or stroke.

A DVT can occur without symptoms, but in many cases the affected extremity will be painful, swollen, red, warm and the superficial veins may be puffed-up. All limb swellings however trivial should be regarded as a DVT until proven otherwise. Sedentary lifestyle, changing work culture, sitting for long hours, erratic work hours, lack of physical exercise, smoking and junk food and emergency contraceptive pills are believed to be some of the causes for this problem.

According to a survey conducted by INDORSE (study of hospitalized patients) it shows alarming results of Deep-Vein Thrombosis risk. The survey aimed to identify hospitalized patients across the country at risk of VTE and determine the proportion of patients who received any mode of VTE prophylaxis (prevention). It further aimed to determine the rate of prophylaxis based on risks such as age, immobilization, obesity; and disease-related risks like sepsis, stroke and major surgery.

“This data clearly shows the discrepancy that exists with regards to DVT prophylaxis in India as compared to Western countries. In the global study, it was seen that 52% hospitalized patients are at risk of DVT with 50% of these patients receiving treatment. In the Indian data, though we have 67% of hospitalized patients at risk of DVT, only 19% received treatment. We thus need to put in concerted efforts to improve patient safety in hospital through Thromboprophylaxis”, says Dr. Muruga Vadivale, Senior Director, Medical & Regulatory, Group Sanofi-Aventis.

Talking about the condition, Dr. U.V. Rao, Vascular surgeon, Manipal Hospital says “It is also critical to consider conditions like stroke, cancer and major surgery as predominant risk factors in addition to age, immobility and obesity for DVT prophylaxis.  DVT prophylaxis would reduce the incidence of VTE in India and thus mortality rates. Failure to give adequate prophylaxis in moderate to high risk patients may be considered as deficiency of care by health care providers. He also feels that the awareness of the condition is still not satisfactory amongst the public and medical community and more needs to be done to prevent this complication in hospitalized patients.

Questions to ask your doctor before a major surgery:
What do I need to do in preparation for surgery?
What are the specific risks of this surgery?
Are there any specific risks associated with this type of surgery and will my surgery put me at risk for DVT?
Will I be given any medication to prevent DVT?
How long will I be immobile post surgery?
What is the recovery process after the surgery?
Should a patient receive any kind of DVT prophylaxis for sepsis and stroke also?

Tags: deep-vein thrombosis, dvt in india, vte prophylaxis, dvt symptoms, blood clot, dvt prophylaxis

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