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What Are the Warning Signs of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

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Ask a Doctor

I sit at a desk for my job, and I know a lot of sitting is a risk factor for blood clots in your leg. What are some of the warning signs of a deep vein thrombosis?

Doctor’s response

Call the doctor immediately if a blood clot is suspected.
  • Although a deep vein thrombosis may resolve on its own, the life-threatening consequences of a clot reaching the lung, called pulmonary embolism, are severe enough to warrant seeking medical attention immediately.
  • The doctor may tell the patient to go immediately to a hospital emergency department.

If a person has leg pain or swelling with any risk factors, go to a hospital emergency department immediately.

Call 9-1-1 if you or someone you know with a current deep vein thrombosis, previous deep vein thrombosis, or other DVT/PE risk factor begins having chest pain, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fainting, or any other concerning symptom.

Signs and symptoms of a blood clot in the leg or deep vein thrombosis occur in the affected leg when a clot obstructs blood flow and causes inflammation. Signs and symptoms of DVT may include:

  1. Swelling
  2. Gradual onset of pain
  3. Redness
  4. Warmth to the touch
  5. Worsening leg pain when bending the foot
  6. Leg cramps, especially at night, and often starting in the calf
  7. Bluish or whitish discoloration of skin

Some people with deep vein thrombosis do not experience any symptoms.

For more information, read our full medical article on deep vein thrombosis.

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Reviewed on 3/20/2018
Sources: References
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