get rid of a

Blood Clots: Prevention and Treatment

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joining us for this week's your health

segment is dr. Raphael Sierra's drew a

assistant professor of medicine at the

University of Maryland School of

Medicine and vascular medicine physician

at the University of Maryland Medical

Center doctor thank you for being with

us oh thank you Jeff

we want to focus on deep vein thrombosis

which is a potentially life-threatening

condition yes it is it is enemies you

know you sometimes you can have you you

can have your DVT we call DVT deep vein

thrombosis you can have in your legs but

sometimes that can travel to your lungs

and that is life-threatening

I mentioned at the beginning of the

program that it can be associated with

traveling long distances you think about

airplanes but cars also yeah

cars also has been associated with big

patron bosses especially if you're gonna

take a long trip we're talking usually

more than four hours then is when your

risk is start increasing is it always

the legs most of the time are the legs

but also you can have blood clots in the

arms you can have blood clots in the

brain and other parts of the body

sometimes the renal arteries you know

but what causes it well blood clots is

caused because an imbalance between two

substance that we have in our bodies you

we have procoagulant and anticoagulants

natural but when we break that balance

we develop a blood clot and we break the

balance mechanically or in terms of

chemistry we have several risk factors

let's say if somebody has cancer that

increases your risk to have a blood clot

obesity increase the risk of having a

blood clot H increase the risk of having

a blood clot there are some people that

has inherited problems that increase the

risk of having blood clots travel also

increase the risk so say it's a younger

healthy person on a very long airplane

ride who doesn't get up doesn't exercise

or are they susceptible well they are at

risk because of the of the long trip but

if that person let's say is take

in contraception bills or is pregnant

you know or if has some inherited

problems can increase the risk of having

a blood clot what do we do about that

I'm one of those people on a plane ride

I can't sit still for that long so I'm

gonna at least move my legs maybe get up

and walk back and forth or something is

is that a good idea well that is an

excellent idea there's a couple more

things first you have to travel very

comfortable try to don't use tight

clothes no belts you know try to be very

very comfortable second thing try to

avoid alcohol and caffeine during your

trip because that can make you dehydrate

and also every 30 minutes or every hour

you can stand up and you know walk a

little bit in the in the plane sometimes

I know if you go in economic class you

know that gonna be a little more digging

up history yeah but you can make

exercises with your heel and your toes

you know up and down up and down every

30 minutes every 20 minutes and that

also can help let me remind our viewers

if you have a question about deep vein

thrombosis how to prevent it how to

treat it give us a call we'll have the

number up on the screen so let's talk

about symptoms how does somebody know

when this is going on well what are the

symptoms when you have in your legs

usually you can have swelling of the leg

you can have pain changing color of the

legs you know but usually happen when

you don't have any other reason why to

have those symptoms because if you heat

your leg or something maybe it could be

secondary to trauma but if you have no

reasons you know maybe you have to think

to go to the doctor is that an emergency

by itself how quickly do you need to get

to the doctor well it is an emergency

you need to go to the emergency room or

to your office doctor and they can make

a diagnosis and treat you now the other

sites for thrombosis if it's the you

talked about the renal system the arms

symptoms is obvious well usually are the

same symptoms but those are less common

and more associated with let's say in

the upper arms usually we see that in

the patients that are in the hospital

with catheters you know in the arms the


something more rare that we we still see

also the brain but those are diagnosed

usually in the hospital now treatment

options anticoagulants where do you


well first you start with a diagnosis

you know when you make it a diagnosis

you have to see what is the risk of this

patient and how bad the DVT is

anticoagulants are the main treatment of

this but there are other options too we

have some medicine that's called

thrombolytics that basically gonna

destroy the blood clot you can give even

systemic thrombolytics or you can

deliver thrombolytics directly to the to

the blood clot and destroy that and in

some extreme situations we can even open

and take the blood clot out by surgery

is there a risk is there an enhanced

risk if the blood clot is sitting there

but if it breaks loose we didn't talk

about where it goes to to be a

potentially fatal situation but lungs

heart brain yes what do you say we can

answer that but when you start treating

it if you if you add in some of these

medications do you risk mobilizing it

and and causing damage well usually when

you start treatment what you do is

stabilize the blood clot and if you you

treat the patient one two or three days

the risk of emboli embolism decrease

basically that is why the treatment do

but if at some time did the blood clot

travels are ready to the lungs let's say

honest is the patient in a critical

condition then then is when we use the

thrombolytics let's grab a phone call in

Arundel County this is Jack Jack thank

you for calling go ahead that's taking

aspirin help prevent blood clots and

what are some other methods that one

might try other things that one could

drink or take Jack thank you very much

thoughts on a little bit of aspirin well

a little bit of aspirin usually did not

prevent blood clots you know that is

used for different things for coronary

artery disease usually what works for

preventing blood clots is what we say


exercise on all that squeeze in one more

Loudoun County this is Julie

Julie thanks for the call go ahead yes

I'm wondering there are certain full

foods that people should avoid for

example sodium and also what about

people that are diabetic and they're

taking a long trip say to Australia

great well it's chilling thank you so

much well you know all these beverages

that has sodium and everything that can

make you retain fluids you know and

maybe you can confuse that with a

swelling for a DVT but usually unless

that is something that keep it makes you

dehydrated you know we usually don't

increase your risk of for DVT during a

long trip and about diabetics diabetic

itself is not a risk factor for DVT

however most of the patients that has

their very

diabetes is older people you know that

has auto risk factors combined with the

diabetes and that is when there is

increased rigor dr. Raphael sure is

through a University of Maryland and the

University of Maryland Medical Center

thank you for your time thank you your

health segments are a co-production of

Maryland public television and the

University of Maryland Medical system