Blood clots trapped in the lungs kill up to 180,000 Americans each year. This is a serious complication of deep vein thrombosis, or blood clots that form in veins deep in the legs or arms. Deep Vein Thrombosis, also known as DVT, is often misdiagnosed. That’s because leg pain and swelling are often attributed to injury. But such blood clots can be brought on by inactivity, such as sitting still during long car or airplane trips. Hospitalization or bed rest after surgery greatly increases the risk of DVT. Pain, tenderness or swelling in one leg–not both–should be evaluated promptly as possible symptoms of DVT. Sudden shortness of breath or pain upon inhaling could be symptoms of pulmonary embolism and also call for medical attention. According to the Venous Disease Coalition, preventable venous blood clots kill more Americans annually than AIDS, breast cancer and traffic accidents combined.
[Vascular Disease Foundation]