What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and am I at risk?

David Bloom - DVT - LocateADoc.comDeep Vein Thrombosis, or DVT, is a potentially fatal condition caused by the clotting of blood. It usually occurs in the deep veins in the legs as opposed to the smaller or surface veins in the ankles or forearms. According to an NBC report, 74% of Americans have never heard of DVT. It was brought to the attention of the general public when NBC correspondent David Bloom died on the battlefield in Iraq; not in the way you would expect, but from the silent killer, DVT.
DVT is not a particularly common condition, hence why it is not often heard about. It is, however, more likely to occur as age progresses. The risk factors include having previous, similar conditions, a family history of the illness or being overweight. As it can be expected, DVT could be a complication of a more severe illness such as cancer, or heart problems, as these conditions weaken the body, allowing it to become more susceptible to DVT.
NBC reporter David Bloom spoke of cramped legs and feeling the need to stretch his legs more than usual. He was often confined to a small armored vehicle which didn’t give him much legroom at all, which is thought to be the cause of the illness. For David Bloom, the warning signs were obvious. They are not always so plain however; DVT can set in with no symptoms at all. 
To have reason to believe you have DVT, you would have to be feeling aches, cramps and heaviness in your legs which seem to have no possible source. As stated earlier, DVT sometimes has no symptoms, but luckily it is treatable and not always fatal. DVT does not come on suddenly; it is more of the result of a long-term ailment. This means it can be caught before anything dangerous happens and avoided with the right treatment.
David Bloom did not know he had DVT until it was too late; he was also in an area not exactly equipped with medical facilities available in the United States. He thought he was just getting cramps from living in confined spaces and the issue could be solved by stretching his legs. 
There is no surefire self-diagnosis technique available for the detection of DVT. If the symptoms arise, you should contact a doctor immediately. Since DVT is not a widespread condition, it is likely to be nothing, but it is better to be safe than sorry. Some ways of avoiding DVT include ensuring you are not overweight by getting plenty of exercise and eating well, stopping smoking and taking time out of your day to go for a walk to improve your general body circulation. Taking these precautions and paying attention to these symptoms is enough to keep you safe and free from the worries about the complications of DVT.