Blood clots may form in the veins causing a condition called venous thrombosis. Symptoms may range from minor discomfort to severe pain and even death. Thrombus breaking loose from the site of its development and moving with blood flow through the heart to the lung is a process called pulmonary embolism. Pulmonary embolism may cause unexplained shortness of breath or chest pain and may block-blood flow through the lungs resulting in sudden death. Some patients have inherited clotting disorders or may be more prone to clots.
Some of these include:
- Factor V Leiden mutation
- Prothrombin gene mutation
- Antithrombin III deficiency
- Protein S deficiency
- Protein C deficiency.
Cancers increase the risk of venous thrombosis as do prolonged sitting or bed-rest, major injuries, and many surgical procedures. Smoking and hormonal medications, especially oral contraceptives, increase the risk of venous thrombosis.
Superficial Venous Thrombosis
Clot forming in the veins of the skin or fatty tissues is called superficial venous thrombosis. Symptoms often involve a tender lump under the skin at the location of a vein overlying the thrombus. Superficial thrombus rarely is life-threatening since it usually forms in veins which are small. However, Many times this isalso associated with clots in deep veins.
Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)
The deep veins are the veins within the muscles and the deep inside the body. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), is clotting in the these veins. This can lead to major disability or death.