World Thrombosis Day:Understanding hidden dangers of blood clots

New Delhi: For a 28-year-old IT professional, one of the important days of his life started with a sharp pain that shot right through his left leg.

Disregarding the pain, he made his way to the event. Though the intensity of the pain was shocking, almost debilitating, the 28-year-old decided to push himself.

I woke up with severe pain in my left leg on a very important day. I had to give a presentation for which I worked a lot. Ignoring the pain I decided to make my way to the venue,” he said.

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“By the time I reached there, my leg had swollen and become painful. Mid-way through the presentation, the pain became so unbearable that I left the venue and consulted Dr Rajiv Parakh immediately,” added the 28-year-old.
Dr Parakh, who is a specialist in peripheral vascular and endovascular surgery at Medanta – The Medicity Hospital, confirmed that it was thrombosis after running a few tests.

Thrombosis is a condition which forms blood clots in blood vessels, artery or vein, making a person prone to heart attack, stroke, or a life-threatening clot in the lungs, that is, venous thromboembolism or VTE.

“Blood clotting is an important process that prevents excessive bleeding by forming a clot over the injury. Once healed, the clot dissolves on its own,” said Dr Parakh.

“However, in some cases, the clots do not heal on their own, or form in other parts of the body. This condition is called thrombosis,” he explained.
The most significant cause of the condition remains the obstruction of blood flow triggered due to a sedentary lifestyle or staying immobilised for long periods of time, described Dr Parakh.

“Other causes include external trauma, which leads to problems in the blood vessels and thickening of the blood, usually due to dehydration and a family history of thrombosis,” he said.

Experts claim that it is a misconception that thrombosis in Asian populations including India is lower than in western populations.
“Anyone can be susceptible to deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) which is the formation of a blood clot in a deep vein, most often in the leg,” said haematologist at Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre, Dr Abhay Bhave.
“Even otherwise healthy people can suffer from DVT after being immobile over a period of time, merely spanning a few weeks,” added Dr Bhave.

“As a ballpark estimate, clinical experience shows that at least 9 per cent hospitalised patients die from conditions caused by lung thrombosis in India, especially in the younger population,” continued Dr Bhave.

Not only knowing the dangers of the condition is important, but understanding the effective ways to prevent thrombosis is equally vital to lower down the chances of developing the disorder.

“Keeping oneself hydrated is one of the preventative measures that patients susceptible to or with a family history of thrombosis need to keep in mind. Leading an active lifestyle is yet another,” said Dr Parakh.

“For women, ingestion of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy increases the chances of thrombosis risk. So the doses must be carefully supervised by a gynaecologist,” advised Dr Parakh.

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