Deep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, is a condition where a blood clot develops in a “deep vein.” Deep veins are further from the skin or surface of the body, in contrast to superficial veins, which are the veins that can easily be seen during an examination. Because they are buried in the body, determining whether or not a clot has developed in a deep vein can be more difficult.
It is important that doctors are vigilant for the signs of DVT. Symptoms include:
- Swelling in the affected limb, particularly if the swelling is only one leg or the other
- Elevated temperature in the area
- Skin discoloration
A prompt diagnosis and proper treatment are extremely important with Deep Vein Thrombosis. Failure to quickly recognize the disease can result in amputation or even death. Patients suffering from DVT are at a much higher risk of a pulmonary embolism. Sadly, physicians miss the diagnosis all too often, even with a clear presentation of symptoms.
Even if a proper diagnosis is made, the proper treatment must follow. Doctors have relied on a drug called a tissue plasmogen activator instead of blood thinners. This drug would slowly break down the blood clot but required the use of a catheter for implantation. The procedure was risky and costly, and now a study from the University of Washington indicates that side effects might outweigh the positives.
The study did indicate that patients who underwent tissue plasmogen activator therapy suffered less pain and were less likely to develop Post-Thrombotic Syndrome. But the research also indicated that patients who used this procedure were much more likely to suffer significant bleeds.
If you or someone you love suffered from Deep Vein Thrombosis, and a bad outcome has left that individual in pain or suffering some degree of disability, it is important your case be reviewed by experts. A delayed diagnosis or improper treatment can have devastating effects. Please, consult with an experienced attorney about the diagnosis and treatment recommended by your physician.