What is a thromboembolism? Just a fancy medical term for “blood clots” and they can be life threatening if they make their way to your lungs or brain. There are basically two types: DVT’s and PE’s.
A DVT is a deep venous thrombosis and is a blood clot embedded in one of the major veins in the legs. The more common risk factors their development include prolonged sitting or bed rest, recent surgery (particularly orthopedic, gynecologic, or heart surgery), recent trauma to the lower body, obesity, heart attack or heart failure.
A PE is a pulmonary embolism or a blood clot in the lungs. The presence of a PE is the third most common cause of death in the US, with at least 650,000 cases occurring annually. It is the first or second most common cause of unexpected death in most age groups. The highest incidence of recognized PE occurs in hospitalized patients. Autopsy results show that as many as 60% of patients dying in the hospital have had a PE, but the diagnosis has been missed in about 70% of the cases.