Thrombosis severity

The greatest risk of thrombosis is that the blood clot will detach and travel to the lungs, causing a pulmonary embolism

DVT is not a serious illness if it is diagnosed and treated adequately. Severity of DVT is due to its possible complications, which are basically two:

  • development of thrombosis and/or embolism in the lung despite treatment
  • hemorrhage because of treatment

With proper treatment, the risk of either complication is less than 2% in the first week and less than 5% in the first three months.

Most of these patients are treated with anticoagulants at  home. However, according to the data of the Spanish Ministry of Health, 87,733 patients with DVT were admitted to Spanish hospitals between 2001 and 2003. Eight hundred and fifty-eight of these died during admission (1.8%).

As DVT itself does not cause death and as the cause of death is not listed in the data of the Ministry of Health, we have to think that most of these 858 patients died of concomitant illnesses (cancer, infections…), but surely some also died due to a PE, despite the treatment, and others died of bleeding due to an anticoagulant treatment.


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