"The Know" is an informational resource concerning vein treatment options. It contains valuable information for prospective patients, physicians as well as those in the vein treatment industry. We will be regularly posting educational articles, video logs and other pertinent information. We encourage your feedback and welcome any suggestions that you feel may improve the blog.
March 2007 Blog Archive
Friday, March 09, 2007
VP Cheney & DVT
Vice President Dick Cheney is in the news again for reasons related to his health. He received treatment on March 5, 2007 for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which doctors say resulted from his multi-flight journey around the world that totaled 65 hours of plane travel in nine days.
DVT is a condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein that accompanies an artery, typically in the legs. The clot can interfere with circulation to a dangerous extent, particularly if it embolizes (comes loose and travels through the blood stream).
As many other frequent travelers are learning, DVT can result from prolonged periods of sitting or other immobilization. It's more likely diagnosed in people who are 60 years or older. However, some conditions put people at greater risk than others for developing DVT, including:
a known condition that makes the blood more likely to clot
a malignant tumor
a diagnosis of Polycythemia vera, an abnormal increase in red blood cells
recent surgery or trauma, particularly of the lower torso or legs
childbirth in the previous six months
use of estrogen or birth control pills
Symptoms of DVT include unusual pain, swelling, coloration, or warmth in only one leg.
Typical treatment of DVT includes the administration of blood-thinning agents such as heparin, enoxaparin, and warfarin, sometimes started intraveneously and then continued by periodic injections. The agents work to dissolve the clot.
Coincidentally around the same time as VP Cheney's DVT situation, a study was presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology meeting in Seattle that gave a thumbs-up to the use of a newly-approved device that combines blood-thinning medication with a clot-removal mechanism resulting in dissolving the clot in a single session.