Mercy Vascular Surgeon Dr. Paul Lucas Discusses Diagnosis, Treatment And Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

April 24, 2017


A change in skin color and sometimes swelling, usually in the leg, are signs of deep vein thrombosis. Also known as DVT, deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep inside a part of the body, and it can be deadly.

Medical experts said there are risk factors, but it can happen to anyone.

Kristina Pompa runs every day, so when she noticed that her calf was swollen, she thought it was a running injury.

“I work out every day,” Pompa said. “It's part of what I do. It's my stress relief. If I were to compare both my calves, it was probably an inch bigger in circumference and I just thought it was muscular.”

But after two weeks of discomfort, Pompa said she went to get help.

“I went to a physical therapist to see what he could do to help me, and he looked at it and instructed me to go to the emergency room immediately,” Pompa said. “He suspected I had a blood clot.”

According to Dr. Paul Lucas, Director of The Vascular Center at Mercy, blood clots can be potentially dangerous.

"Up to 100,000 people will die from them, and that's usually related to a venous thromboembolism or pulmonary embolism that can get into the lungs,” Dr. Lucas said.

That is why it is important to see a doctor; persistent redness and swelling is often a sign of DVT.

“If it lingers, you should get it checked out,” Dr. Lucas said.

There is a long list of risk factors that could play a role in DVTs, including age, obesity, immobility and smoking.

“It's a good conversation to have with your doctor,” Dr. Lucas said. “What are the risks, or am I at risk for a potential blood clot?”

Anyone can get a blood clot. and Pompa is proof of that. She is grateful to be running again.

“No one is out of the category (for DVT),” Pompa said. “It can happen to anyone.”

To view Mercy vascular surgeon Dr. Paul Lucas’ interview regarding Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), click here.

About Mercy

Founded in 1874 in Downtown Baltimore by the Sisters of Mercy, Mercy Medical Center is a 183-licensed bed, acute care, university-affiliated teaching hospital. Mercy has been recognized as a high-performing Maryland hospital (U.S. News & World Report); has achieved an overall 5-Star quality, safety, and patient experience rating (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services); is A-rated for Hospital Safety (Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade); and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a Magnet™ hospital. Mercy Health Services is a not-for-profit health system and the parent company of Mercy Medical Center and Mercy Personal Physicians.

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