Complications

What are the complications of DVT?

The two major complications or DVT are:
1. Pulmonary Embolism (PE) which increases the mortality
2. A post-phlebitic syndrome which increases the morbidity.

Why is pulmonary embolism such a lethal problem?

In PE clots travel tot he lungs and block its blood supply. The patients present with:

  • Unexplained sudden shortness of breath
  • Chest pain or discomfort worse on taking deep breath or coughing
  • Feeling light-headed or dizzy
  • Rapid pulse
  • Coughing blood.

What is post-phlebitic syndrome?

It is a common complication of DVT and is a collection of symptoms. It takes place many years later. The common complaints are:

  • Leg swelling
  • Leg pain
  • Leg discolouration
  • Leg ulcers.

There is damage to the vein from blood clots reducing the flow in the affected areas.