How can you prevent another deep vein thrombosis?

After suffering a deep vein thrombosis, there is a higher risk that a new blood clot will form, particularly in the following situations:

  • Prolonged immobility (bedrest during hospitalization, a long flight or leg in a plaster cast)
  • Surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications (hormonal contraception (ex. “the Pill”) or hormone therapy)

More long-term causes include:

  • Cancer
  • Inflammatory diseases

If these situations apply to you, you may be advised to take an anticoagulant medication to prevent another thrombosis; the dosage will be lower than what you have taken in the past.

Some medications are contraindicated following a thrombosis (ex., oral contraceptives containing estrogen or hormone replacement therapy prescribed for menopausal symptoms).

Genetic predispositions can influence the development of a thrombosis. Your parents, siblings and children may therefore be at increased risk for a thrombosis.

After a deep vein thrombosis, it is important to be on the lookout for the signs and symptoms of a new thrombosis and to seek medical care quickly, especially if you have stopped taking anticoagulants.

It is also important to discuss these symptoms with family members and to encourage them to consult a healthcare professional quickly in case of doubt. The chances of recovery and avoiding complications are greater if deep vein thrombosis is treated quickly.

Learn and remember the signs of thrombosis

Canada’s Thrombosis awareness campaign called CLOTS helps you learn and recognize the signs of blood clots, also called thrombosis.

Chest pain A blood clot in the lung causes it to swell, resulting in sharp chest pain when breathing.
Light-headedness A blood clot in the lung causes light-headedness or dizziness, especially if large or multiple clots blood flow to the lung.
Out of breath A blood clot in the lung reduces the flow of oxygen throughout the body, which causes difficulty breathing.
leg Tenderness A blood clot in the leg causes tenderness of cramping in the calf or behind the knee, as well as redness and warmth.
leg Swelling A blood clot in the leg blocks blood flow to the veins that drain blood from the leg back to the heart. This causes the leg to swell.

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