Deep Vein Thrombosis
One of the most devastating parts of living through an injury is realizing that your pain doesn’t end once the accident is over. Many accident injuries can take months or even years to recover from. And oftentimes, you may experience complications from your wound that set you back at square one.
Deep vein thrombosis is one of the more devastating complications that may come from a personal injury. Read on to learn more about this condition and the dangers it can pose.
What Is DVT?
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a condition in which a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins in your body – usually in your legs. These clots can be very painful, but the bigger problem arises if you develop a pulmonary embolism.
Pulmonary embolism is a complication of DVT in which one of these clots breaks off and makes its way into your lungs. This cuts off blood flow to your lungs, meaning that your body is unable to reoxygenate itself. This can be incredibly deadly – about 15 percent of pulmonary embolism patients lose their lives to the condition.
There are a few symptoms that may indicate you have deep vein thrombosis.
- Swelling in your legs
- Cramping or soreness starting in your calf
- A localized feeling of warmth in your leg
- The skin on your leg turning red or purplish
In some cases, DVT may not have any noticeable symptoms.
It’s important to note that experiencing these symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you have DVT. Many different conditions can cause any of the symptoms we discussed. That being said, if you suspect you may have DVT (and especially if you have any of the risk factors we discuss below), talk to your doctor.
There are a number of factors that can increase your risk of experiencing DVT.
- Age – People over the age of 60 are more likely to experience DVT.
- Genetics – People with a family history of clotting disorders may be more likely to develop DVT.
- Pregnancy – When you’re pregnant, you have more pressure in your pelvis and legs, which can increase your risk of DVT for up to six weeks after your baby is born.
- Cancer – Certain types of cancer and/or cancer treatments can increase your risk of a clot.
- Heart failure – If your heart isn’t able to function properly, you may be more likely to develop a clot.
- Inflammatory bowel disease – The additional pressure in your pelvis associated with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease may increase your risk of DVT.
- Birth control pills or HRT – Both of these medications can increase your risk of developing a clot.
- Obesity – Being overweight puts more pressure on your pegs and pelvis, which can leave you at greater risk of DVT.
- Smoking – Smoking can make your blood more prone to clotting, which can lead to DVT.
- Lack of movement – Moving around periodically helps your blood keep flowing normally. Sitting still for long periods of time, such as when driving, flying, or working at a desk, can increase your chances of a clot forming. If you have to spend time on bed rest, such as when you’re healing from an injury, you could also face an increased risk of DVT.
- Injury or surgery – Any damage to your blood vessels, especially during surgery, can increase your risk of a clot forming.
In some cases, these risk factors can stack to further raise your chances of developing DVT. For instance, if you smoke, have heart disease, and take birth control pills, you’ll be at higher risk of this disorder than someone who just takes birth control pills.
DVT and Accidents
We mentioned that staying still for a long time is one of the biggest risk factors for developing DVT. If you suffer an injury, you may have no choice but to spend weeks or months on bed rest while you recover. Unfortunately, this can raise your risk of developing a clot deep in one of your legs.
Injuries that do significant damage to your blood vessels (including those that require surgery) can also increase your risk of forming a clot. Your body naturally forms clots to stop bleeding, which is an important function. But if one of those clots forms inside a vein, it can migrate into one of the veins in your leg, where it can grow even more.
DVT and Medical Malpractice
Unfortunately, DVT is one of the harder conditions to diagnose without significant testing. For one thing, this disorder may not even present any noticeable symptoms. Worse yet, clots can sometimes develop even if you don’t have any of the risk factors we discussed above.
Nonetheless, part of your doctor’s job is to diagnose you appropriately and to treat you in time to avoid a pulmonary embolism. If they failed to do that, particularly if they didn’t do their due diligence in following up on warning signs, you could have a medical malpractice case on your hands.
What Damages Can You Get for DVT?
If you suffer DVT as the result of an accident or medical malpractice, you could be entitled to compensation. There are three basic kinds of compensation you can get in a personal injury case.
Economic damages cover losses that have specific financial values. Lost wages, medical bills, and loss of future earning potential can all fall under the umbrella of economic damages.
Non-economic damages don’t have a specific dollar value, but that doesn’t make them any less valid or important. You may be able to get non-economic damages for pain and suffering, scarring and disfigurement, emotional trauma, mental anguish, and so on.
Punitive damages are very rare to recover in personal injury cases thanks to their high burden of proof. These damages only apply in cases where you can prove that the defendant acted in an unconscionably awful manner during your accident.
Talk with a Lawyer About Your DVT
Deep vein thrombosis is a serious condition that could lead to a deadly pulmonary embolism if left untreated. A number of factors can increase your risk of DVT, including having to undergo surgery or be on bed rest for a long time. If you experience DVT after an accident, you could be entitled to compensation for this complication.
The attorneys at Allen Law Firm, P.A. want to help you get the compensation you deserve. Schedule a free consultation with us or call (877) 255-3652 today to get Gainesville’s expert injury lawyers on your side.