March is DVT Awareness Month

Tiffany Limtanakool

American Public Health Association 

In This Article

What Can Be Done?

One of the best ways to combat DVT is through prevention. For example, fatal PE may be the most common preventable cause of hospital death in the United States; without prevention treatment, nearly 60 percent of patients undergoing total hip replacement surgery will get DVT. Practicing a healthy lifestyle is the easiest way to maintain good circulation and ward off DVT. Getting 30 minutes of daily exercise, maintaining a healthy weight, and avoiding long periods of inactivity are recommended. Travelers should avoid alcohol and sleeping pills, keep hydrated, move their legs when possible and wear graded compression stockings if they feel that they could be at risk for DVT. Patients preparing for surgery should discuss preventive measures with their doctor.

DVT is not entirely preventable: thrombus clots may still form even after following all of the guidelines mentioned above. By following a healthy lifestyle and taking precautions, however, the chance of getting DVT is greatly reduced.

For more information about DVT Awareness Month, visit http://www.preventdvt.org. To read a white paper about DVT from the American Public Health Association, see http://www.apha.org/news/press/2003/DVT_whitepaper.pdf .

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