Deep Vein Thrombosis: What are the signs?

deep vein thrombosis

Signs and Symptoms

DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) is caused when a blood clot forms in one of the veins of your body, most often in the legs.  The symptoms of DVT include:

  • Swelling and cramp-like pain in one leg (or arm)
  • Purple, red or bluish skin discoloration
  • Leg (or arm) feels warm to the touch

Contact your doctor or find an emergency medical facility as soon as possible, because you may need treatment right away.


Preventing DVT

  • Keep active
  • Stay in your normal weight range for your height and age
  • Avoid prolonged periods of inactivity, especially sitting. Get up and move around at least once per hour, or do leg raises and other seated exercises.
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Stay hydrated
  • Wear compression stockings while traveling


Blood clots from a Deep Vein Thrombosis and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism (PE), which can be fatal.

Pulmonary Embolism:

Signs and Symptoms

  • Sudden shortness of breath
  • Sharp, stabbing chest pain
  • Increased or rapid heart rate
  • Sudden cough, sometimes with blood in mucus

Call an ambulance or 911 immediately for treatment in the ER if you experience these PE symptoms.

Up to 600,000 people in the United States develop blood clots every year.  About 100,000 people in the U.S. die each year from blood clots.