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Home harvard Health Blog symptoms » Leg clots (aka deep-vein thrombosis an immediate and long-term health hazard - bronchitis Harvard Health Blog. Posted December 14, 2011, 2:59. Howard LeWine,.D., Chief Medical Editor, Internet Publishing, Harvard Health Publishing.
When it comes to under-the-radar health conditions, deep-vein thrombosis is at the top of the list.
Most of my patients have never heard of this common problem.
Yet deep-vein thrombosis puts more than one-quarter million Americans in the hospital each year, and complications from it are responsible for upwards of 100,000 deaths.
Deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) is the medical term for a blood clot that forms in a leg vein.
Some DVTs cause no symptoms; others hurt, or make the leg swell. There are two big worries with a DVT: Pulmonary embolism.
A piece of a clot can break away, travel through the bloodstream, and become lodged in the lungs. This is called a pulmonary embolism.
Almost all DVT-related deaths are due to a pulmonary embolism. A clot can permanently damage the vein it is lodged.
This problem, called post-phlebitis syndrome, causes persistent asthma leg pain, swelling, darkened skin, and sometimes hard-to-heal skin ulcers. Up to 40 of people with a DVT develop post-phlebitis syndrome.