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Venous Stasis

Venous stasis is a medical term used to describe the poor blood circulation in the legs. The function of the veins in the leg is to carry blood towards the heart. In some individuals, the veins fail to perform this function and the blood starts to collect in the veins- this is what is known as venous stasis. Venous stasis can occur in any vein in the body but is most commonly observed in the legs. The reason for this is that humans are upright individuals. The prolonged standing and the gravity pull further neutralizes the weaker veins to function and thus further leads to poor function. In some cases, the veins are blocked (blood clots) and can no longer push the blood out.

Venous stasis is commonly seen in conditions where blood in the circulation is slowed down. Conditions which do this include:

- congestive heart failure

- deep vein thrombosis

- varicose veins

- kidney or liver failure

- malnutrition

- cancer

- infections

Diagnosis

Venous stasis is easily recognized by several features which include:

- skin discoloration around the ankles

- presence of varicose veins

- swelling of the feet and legs

- itchy skin

- thin skin which is fragile

- dimpling in the skin caused by pressure

As the condition progresses the blood collects in the legs and starts to seep out into the tissues. The blood pigments react with skin and cause discoloration. Eventually the skin breaks down and leads to the development of a venous stasis ulcer

Treatment

The most common treatments for venous stasis are:

- rest

- leg elevation

- compression stockings

- water pills if the cause is heart failure





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