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April 26, 1996 - Image 67

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1996-04-26

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

(Discover (Rare Beauty

at

LENIN'S BEAUTY SUPPLY

There were probably no more
than three or four of these spells,
and they all seemed to pass in
less than an hour.
Recent leg swelling is often a
sign of blood clots developing in
the large veins in the upper
thigh. The condition of clotting
veins is called "deep vein throm-
bosis," or DVT. It is particular-
ly dangerous because pieces of
the clot can break off and be car-
ried by the circulation to the
lungs, where they can compro-
mise blood and oxygen delivery
to the body.
We call this condition pul-
monary embolism, and it can be
deadly. Its symptoms include
shortness of breath, chest pain
and coughing up blood. When
massive, pulmonary embolism
can cause circulation collapse

This was given the
name "turnpike
phlebitis."

and death.
DVT is not uncommon among
long-haul truck drivers who
spend hours behind the wheel
without stopping several times
a day to stretch their legs and
walk around. The constant
flexed position of the hips while
seated kinks the veins in the up-
per thigh, causing a partial
blockage of blood flow. The slow
flow predisposes to the forma-
tion of blood clots.
Years ago this was given the
name "turnpike phlebitis." It can
occur under any condition of pro-
longed sitting without relieving
the kink in the veins by stretch-
ing or getting up and walking
around every hour or so. The
risk is even greater for those
with health that already pre-
disposes a person to throm-
bophlebitis, such as congestive
heart failure, an injured leg or
recent major surgery.
It took some persuasion to
convince my father-in-law to
come to the hospital. His tests
clearly indicated DVT and at
least two pulmonary embolisms.
He was started on an anticoag-
ulant medication. He respond-
ed well to treatment.
Not all leg swelling is DVT,
but DVT is a very common cause
for the recent swelling of one leg
or for the recent exaggeration of
a chronically swollen leg. It may
or may not be painful. Those
with any of these high-risk con-
ditions should be particularly
aware: a major surgical proce-
dure within the past month, re-
cent leg injury, certain cancer
conditions, stroke or immobility
with long sitting.
If leg swelling is accompanied
by new shortness of breath,
chest pain or coughing up blood,
it is imperative to seek medical
attention immediately. 0

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