March is Deep Vein Thrombosis Month, which makes it a good time to learn a little more about DVT and how it can impact your senior’s life. DVT is a serious condition that can become emergent very quickly. DVT involves blood clots forming in the deeper veins of your senior’s body, typically in the legs. Those blood clots can break free, wreaking havoc throughout the body. Learn more about DVT and how it affects your senior, as well as how elderly care can help.
DVT Can Lead to Pulmonary Embolism
Pulmonary embolisms, or PE, can occur when a clot or a small piece of a clot breaks off from the DVT and travel through your senior’s blood vessels and into the lungs. Large enough clots can block blood flow, which can be a fatal situation. This is the equivalent of a stroke in your senior’s brain. An elderly care provider can be with your senior when you can’t, making it possible for them to spot the signs of a stroke earlier than if they were alone.
DVT and PE Can Also Cause Heart Failure
A pulmonary embolism can also cause blood flow to and from the heart to stop or to slow down dramatically, especially when the pulmonary arteries are clogged. As the heart works harder to try to get that blood flowing, damage is created, even possibly a heart attack. The damage afterward, even with a mild pulmonary embolism, can dramatically shorten your senior’s life.
Post-thrombotic Syndrome and Elderly Care
Post-thrombotic syndrome happens during or after a DVT. Your senior might experience chronic swelling and pain in her leg. The swelling impedes blood flow, which creates serious issues in terms of keeping her extremities healthy. Skin can start to break down and the worst-case scenario can include amputation. Elderly care services can assist your senior following a hospital stay for DVT.
Preventing DVT Is Vital for Health
Preventing deep vein thrombosis is crucial for your senior’s overall health. If she’s been on bed rest or is not as mobile as she used to be, moving more can help. It’s important that she avoid crossing her legs or doing other things that can block blood flow in the legs. Other issues can contribute to DVT, such as being overweight and smoking. Talk to your senior’s doctor about her risk factors and about what she can do to prevent DVT.
Dealing with a DVT diagnosis can feel like a lot for your senior. It can help for her to have some hands-on assistance, both with tasks that have become more difficult and to assist with mobility concerns. Elderly care providers can take on that role for your senior, ensuring that she’s safe and has someone with her in case her situation changes.