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Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot forming in a large vein. It can lead to pulmonary embolism, a potentially fatal complication.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), deep vein thrombosis (DVT), the formation of a blood clot in a large vein, is "an underdiagnosed, preventable medical condition."  But it is preventable and treatable if diagnosed promptly and accurately.
If the blood clot breaks off it can travel through the bloodstream to the lung and cause a pulmonary embolism (PE) which can be fatal.
The common risk factors for DVT include immobility, such as bed rest, immobilization due to a cast, sitting for long periods of time (for example on a long airline flight), injury to the vein caused by fractures, significant muscle injury or major surgery.  Other risk factors for DVT may include increased estrogen, some types of chronic illnesses, family history, previous DVTs and genetic blood clotting disorders to cite a few.
Common symptoms of DVT include swelling, pain, tenderness and redness of the skin.  DVT is typically diagnosed using duplex ultrasound or venography
Compression stockings or mechanical compression can be used following surgery or for periods of immobility or bed rest.  For long flights, prevention includes moving around - getting up to walk every two or three hours, exercising the legs while sitting, wearing loose fitting clothes and drinking water.
Source: Centers for Disease Control