Taking Charge of Your Health

(heartbeats) (instrumental music) – [Voiceover] Venous
Thromboembolism or VTE is a blood clot in the vein that includes two potentially
life-threatening conditions: Deep Vein Thrombosis
or DVT, which is a clot in a deep vein, typically in the leg. And Pulmonary Embolism
or PE, which happens when the clot breaks free, travels to the lungs, and blocks blood flow. Fortunately there are
effective treatments available, including injectable
drugs that can dissolve the clot quickly. This is called Thrombolytic Therapy. Anticoagulants or blood-thinning
medications decrease the ability of blood to clot. They do not dissolve
clots but may keep them from getting bigger and from
breaking off and moving. These drugs can be life-saving
but they may also cause some side effects,
including excess bleeding, so follow instructions
carefully while taking them. Another treatment option is surgery to remove a clot from the vein. And doctors can place a filter
in the body’s largest vein to stop future blood clots
from traveling to the lungs. If you’re at increased risk
because of major surgery, lengthy bed rest, a previous
VTE, or other factors, there are ways to prevent VTE. These include blood-thinning
medications as well as compression stockings,
which may keep blood moving in the legs so it doesn’t pool and clot, or a compression garment,
which is filled with air to improve blood flow. If you’re able, getting up
and moving around as often as possible may also help. For more information on
VTE call 1-800-AHA-USA1 or visit

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