Remember, DVT + PE = VTE

Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT, is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body. Blood clots occur when blood thickens and clumps together.

Most deep vein blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh, however, they can also occur in other parts of the body.

A blood clot in a deep vein can break off and travel through the bloodstream. The loose clot is called an embolus. It can travel to an artery in the lungs and block blood flow.

This condition is called pulmonary embolism, or PE, a very serious condition. 

A DVT requires urgent investigation and treatment.

Many DVTs occur in the legs, most often the calf, but DVTs can occur anywhere and in many cases, there may be few or no symptoms of DVT.

If symptoms do occur they can include:

  • Pain, swelling and tenderness where the DVT has occurred
  • A heavy ache in the affected area
  • Warm skin in the area of the clot
  • Red skin, particularly at the back of your leg below the knee
  • DVT usually (although not always) affects one leg. The pain may be worse when you bend your foot upward towards your knee

A DVT requires urgent investigation and treatment.