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keep ur feet raised!!!!

Discussion in 'Health Issues' started by Saideeps, May 4, 2010.

  1. Saideeps

    Saideeps Bronze IL'ite

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    YOU ARE settled comfortably in your seat and are about to begin eating the chicken curry meal set before you. After this you plan to watch a movie until your flight reaches New York City.
    All of a sudden, you feel a sensation of pain shooting through your chest. You get breathless, break into a sweat and begin coughing up blood. Though some of these symptoms may resemble a heart attack, what you are actually experiencing is pulmonary embolism.
    A blood clot has blocked an artery of your lung, which may result in death. When you sit in the same position for a long time, the muscles in your calves are immobile and the blood in that area becomes static, resulting in a clot.
    This condition is called deep vein thrombosis ( DVT) and may lead to complications as serious as a stroke, blindness and kidney disorder besides creating a blockage in the lung.

    THE veins in your legs play a major role in blood circulation of your body. While the heart sends the blood to all the peripheral areas of the body, the leg veins work against gravity to push the blood back to the heart.
    The lack of movement leads to stagnation of the blood in the calf and subsequently DVT. This condition leads to swelling and pain in the calf, ankle and foot of the affected leg. You may also notice discolouration of the skin.
    However, DVT often occurs without any symptoms which make it more serious because the blood clot that has formed in your vein can break loose and migrate to the lungs, brain or kidneys. Besides long distance travellers, DVT affects stroke patients who are bed ridden.
    "Around 50 percent stroke patients get DVT and 5 percent of them die because of complications. That's the reason why all stroke patients should take precautions to avoid DVT and their physicians should also look for swelling in the legs during routine checkups," says Dr P N Renjen, senior consultant neurologist, Indraprastha Apollo Hospital.

    WHILE some people are predisposed to DVT, there are several triggers which can make you prone to the disorder even if you are not susceptible. Stroke, blood clotting disorder, injury to the blood vessel, obesity, cancer, smoking, diabetes, hypertension, heart ailments, pregnancy and use of contraceptives increase the risk of DVT.
    "Birth control pills contain different forms of the female hormones estrogen and progestin. Estrogen increases the production of certain chemicals necessary for the blood clotting and also increases platelet numbers and the stickiness of platelets. This same increase in estrogen also occurs naturally in late pregnancy, resulting in a similar or greater increase in the risk of DVTs," says Dr Ashish Srivastava, senior consultant neurosurgeon, B L Kapur Memorial Hospital.
    Certain cancers also lead to production of proteins which can increase the risk of DVT. Overweight people are more prone to the disorder because more weight means more pressure is exerted in the veins of your pelvis and legs, causing them to weaken.
    A family history of deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism also increases your risk of developing DVT. If you are about to undergo a surgery which would require you to take bed rest for a long time, ask the doctor if you are at risk of getting DVT.
    "Such patients should be given blood thinners before the surgery to reduce the chances of blood clotting and DVT," says Dr Prabal Roy, head of minimal invasive surgery, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences.
    Also DVT pumps are essential for bed ridden patients. "These pumps help in passive feet movement and keep the blood moving. All the patients admitted to the ICU should be recommended these pumps. However, it demands proactive attitude from physicians which is not common," says Dr Srivastava.

    IF A blood clot is detected in your leg, this should be treated as an emergency. An ultrasound test is generally recommended by doctors to confirm the presence of a clot. This can indicate the precise location of the clot and whether it is growing.
    Once this is confirmed, the treatment administered must ensure that the blood flow is restored; the clot should not increase in size and it should not break and migrate to other body organs.
    "First of all the foot should be elevated to neutralise the effect of gravity and compression stocking should be put on the legs to increase the blood flow. Any clot bigger than 50 cm can be fatal. Blood thinners are injected for the first 3-4 days to stabilise the clot. Over a period of six months, with the help of medicines and lifestyle changes the veins rechannelise. However, the patients always need to take life- long preventive steps to avoid a recurrence," says Dr Roy.
    In certain patients, DVT can be so severe that the clots increase in size suddenly causing venous gangrene which can severely damage the legs. Though such cases are very rare, blood clots do have the potential to turn fatal if not attended to on time.
    "In this situation, medicines are given to dissolve the clot and ensure that it does not move to other parts of body. A filter is generally inserted in the vein which opens up like an umbrella and blocks the clot," says Dr Roy.
    So next time you take a flight, avoid sitting for too long.

    Get up from your seat and move around after every couple of hours when you are travelling long distance. Avoid drinking too much liquor and eating heavy food because this can lead to dehydration.
    Dehydration thickens the blood and makes it more prone to clotting. Elevate your legs to increase the flow of blood in the veins. DVT pumps are recommended for passive feet movement among bedridden patients. They wear compression boots that inflate intermittently to propel the blood forward and avoid clotting.

  2. Pavithra55

    Pavithra55 Gold IL'ite

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    very good and helpful information you have given. thanx for posting:)

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