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The top questions on your mind

Is DVT life threatening? 

DVT is a treatable condition. Although DVT can be life threatening and should be taken seriously, it is almost always manageable if addressed in time. 

There are effective treatments available which are designed to interrupt the clotting process, so that your clot does not grow any larger. This makes it easier for your own body to dissolve the existing clot. 

Treating and managing DVT and PE 

There are a number of different treatment options available for DVT, and your doctor will prescribe the solution that is best suited to your circumstances. The most important thing that you can do is to always follow the prescription and treatment routine recommended by your doctor, and to be consistent. People who have suffered from a blood clot before are at a higher risk of developing one again. It's important for you to be aware of the signs and symptoms of DVT and PE. Seek immediate medical care and also ensure those around you are aware of any symptoms requiring immediate care. These symptoms include severe difficult breathing, feeling pain in your chest or upper back, your heart is beating very fast or if you have passed out. In these instances A&E should be called or visited.

Suggestions for managing your treatment:

  • If you have a blood clot, there is a risk that you could also develop pulmonary embolism (PE). Be sure to be aware of the signs and symptoms of PE and contact your doctor or call an ambulance immediately if you start to have the symptoms associated with PE.
  • Have a conversation with your doctor to make sure you understand how your prescribed treatment works.
  • Be sure your doctor knows about any other conditions you have as well as any medicines you have been taking. 
  • Remember to inform your dentist or other doctors that you are taking an anticoagulant.
  • Be sure to attend regular check-ups with your healthcare professional and ask any questions you may have about your treatment

Making small tweaks to your everyday

  • Wear compression stockings if prescribed; they may help prevent recurring blood clots and may also relieve swelling and pain
  • When sitting for longer periods, you can prop your legs up just a bit, so that your feet are not planted flat against the floor.
  • Lower your coffee and alcohol intake as they can be dehydrating .

Get moving!

  • Incorporate gentle exercise, which is known to help relieve pain from blood clots. Just stay away from the likes of rugby and tackles in football! You want to avoid anything that might cause bruising.
  • When you are not sleeping, it is best to avoid sitting or lying down for more than 4 hours at a time.
  • Check with your doctor about when you can go back to the sports you used to participate in. After treatment, most people can return to their normal physical activity levels. Your doctor will advise you when this is likely to be after treatment.
  • Avoid standing for long periods, as this can increase swelling in the legs.

Take care with long-haul travel

If you have to take a long flight during the first few months of treatment, it is important that you consult your doctor first. During the flight, try to get up and walk around frequently and avoid any alcohol. Try to stretch and use the available leg room.

Travelling or going on holiday? Read this first.


UK/IE/MAT- 72247. April 2024