World Thrombosis day! Heed the warning signs to prevent premature death
Today on World Thrombosis Day, and incidentally my 51st birthday, I'm compelled to share and raise awareness of the signs/symptoms of one of the world's leading killers.
Thrombosis will kill 1 in 4 of us worldwide every year. More people will lose their life through thrombosis each year than AIDS, breast cancer and motor vehicle accidents combined1.
My mum aged just 44 was one of the 3 in 4 who nearly lost her life but was fortunate that her deep vein thrombosis (DVT) was identified and treated quickly to ensure a good recovery whilst living with the consequences of having to forever take blood thinning medication to prevent it from happening again.
Thrombosis occurs when a blood clot is formed in a vein or artery. This clot can block or reduce normal flow, or break off and travel to an organ. It's often the preventable cause of a heart attack. or stroke.
Blood clots can affect anyone regardless of demographics, however, they can be detected and treated fully if diagnosed early enough.
Clots appearing in the leg, groin or arm are called deep vein thrombosis (DVT) whereas those which travel in our circulation and lodge in the lungs are known as pulmonary embolism (PE). Combined, these lead to a deadly disease called venous thromboembolism (VTE); the leading cause of death and disability with 10 million cases occurring worldwide annually
VTE is preventable and certain risk factors will make us more likely to experience it. For example living a sedentary lifestyle, family history of blood clots, age 60+, cancer/chemotherapy, trauma, estrogen-based medication, obesity, pregnancy/recent birth, smoking and alcohol.
By identifying the following warning signs early detection and treatment/recovery is highly possible:
- Pain or tenderness in the calf
- Swelling in the ankle of the foot
- Redness of discolouration
- Unexplained shortness of breath
- Rapid breathing
- Chest pain
- Rapid heart rate
- Lightheadedness/passing out
See your GP at the earliest opportunity of you are at risk of thrombosis and experiencing any of the above symptoms.