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Date: 28 November 2023
Causes and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism
You are at increased risk of developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) if you:
- have been immobile (sitting or laying down) for long periods of time
- are over 60 years of age
- have had surgery lasting longer than 60 minutes
- have a history of DVT in the family
- are overweight
- have cancer, heart failure or respiratory problems
- are taking HRT or an oestrogen-based contraceptive pill
Symptoms of DVT include:
- pain and tenderness below the knee
- stiffness and aching in the calf or thigh
- leg swelling
- changes in skin colour
Symptoms of PE include:
- sudden shortness of breath
- chest pain which is made worse even on shallow breathing
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