Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a deep vein in your body, usually in the leg. Associate Professor Harry Gibbs, Deputy Director of General Medicine at Alfred Health in Melbourne and co-authors have examined the latest recommendations for the treatment of DVT. Associate professor Gibbs explains that it has the potential to break loose and lodge itself in your lungs.
There is now a new kind of blood thinner available that is changing the way DVT is treated. Experts are saying more people should consider the long-term use of these blood thinners to reduce their risk of DVT. “People who have had DVT have a higher risk of having another one. Using blood thinners reduces the risk of recurrence by 80% but comes with a risk of bleeding,” Associate Professor Gibbs explains.
New blood thinners such as rivaroxaban and apixaban have a lower risk of bleeding compared to warfarin – the old standard in blood thinner treatment for DVT. Also, unlike with warfarin, there is no need to inject blood thinners at the start of treatment. There is also no need for frequent blood tests.
In the past, it was only those with a high risk of DVT that would use blood thinners due to their potentially severe side effects. However now that these new blood thinners have emerged, even those with a low-moderate risk of DVT are considering using them to reduce their risk. Of course, associate professor Gibbs warns ‘’As with for all treatments, for every patient the benefits of using blood thinners need to be weighed up against potential harm’’.
This post was written by freelance writer,