what is a dvt

14, 4, 2021

COVID Vaccine Concerns and Blood Clots


Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Blood Clot Concerns: What is a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?

Blood clots associated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have caused pause and concern. As a result, the United States is recommending a pause on administering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine after reports of six women experiencing blood clots within three weeks after their inoculation, according to the CDC. Specifically, six women between the ages of 18 and 48 developed unusual blood clots in combination with low platelets, 6 to 13 days after vaccination.  There have been no reports of blood clots related to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in San Diego County (out of nearly 60,000 doses given). It is unclear if the rare blood clotting disorder is related to the vaccine administration or not, as 7 million people have received the vaccine.

A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in one of the veins in the deep venous system. There are 2 types of veins in the legs, deep and superficial. Deep veins are deep within the muscle and are responsible for 90% of the blood return from the legs to the lungs and heart. These veins are necessary for life. Superficial veins are in the subcutaneous tissue and lie outside of the muscle, closer to the skin. Blood clots located in a deep vein, most commonly occur in a leg or arm.

Johnson and Johnson Vaccine and Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT) blood clots

Johnson and Johnson Vaccine and Deep Venous Thrombosis. Deep venous thrombosis is when a blood clot forms within the leg veins

Blood clots occur when the blood thickens and sticks together. A blood clot in the deep veins can break off and travel up through the bloodstream, becoming an embolism. The most serious and immediate concern is a pulmonary embolism (PE), which is when the blood clot travels to an artery in the lungs and blocks blood flow.  This can cause damage to the lungs or other organs and can cause death. A blood clot in the thigh is more likely to break off than a clot in the lower legs. DVT and PE are also known as VTE (venous thromboembolism). In general, VTE affects as many as 900,000 Americans each year.

What are the signs and symptoms of a blood clot?

Many people with DVT have no symptoms at all. Symptoms depend on the size of the clot and the veins affected. But here are the most common symptoms that occur from a DVT in the legs:

  • Swelling (typically in the leg. Blood clots in the arm can cause arm swelling)
  • Leg Pain (especially with walking)
  • Tenderness
  • Redness of the skin
  • PE Symptoms
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Faster than a normal or irregular heartbeat
  • Chest pain or discomfort, which usually worsens with a deep breath or coughing
  • Coughing up blood
  • Very low blood pressure, lightheadedness, or fainting
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Blood Clot Concerns. A Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) blood clot in the leg

Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Blood Clot Concerns. A Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) blood clot in the leg can cause pain and swelling.

How is a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) diagnosed? A DVT is diagnosed by a venous ultrasound of the leg. A physician will decide if a blood thinner is needed for the treatment of the blood clot based on a variety of factors. If a blood clot is suspected, an ultrasound is necessary immediately and a physician should be notified. Read more about venous ultrasound imaging at La Jolla Vein Care to detect blood clots. 


COVID Vaccine Concerns and Blood Clots2021-11-05T11:31:24-07:00

6, 8, 2014

DVT (Deep Venous Thrombosis) Afflicts American Idol


On Friday, former American Idol contestant Michael Johns suddenly died at age 35, allegedly from a blood clot that formed in his ankle. No official details have been released, but TMZ is reporting that Michael Johns twisted his ankle.  Other celebrities who have made relatively recent headlines for suffering from DVT include Real Housewives of Atlanta star, Nene Leakes, and Tennis Star Serena Williams.  Other well known figures such as

Richard Nixon, Dan Quayle, Dick Cheney and David Bloom have all suffered a potentially fatal deep venous thrombosis (DVT).

Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh. The clot can block blood flow and cause swelling and pain. When a clot breaks off and moves through the bloodstream, this is called an embolism. An embolism can get stuck in the brain, lungs, heart, or other area, leading to severe damage.

Blood clots may form when something slows or changes the flow of blood in the veins. Risk factors include:

  • Bedrest
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Family history of blood clots
  • Fractures in the pelvis or legs
  • Giving birth within the last 3 months
  • Heart Failure
  • Obesity
  • Recent surgery (especially hip, knee, or female pelvic surgery)
  • Too many blood cells being made by the bone marrow

You’re also more likely to develop DVT if you have any of the following conditions:

  • Blood that is more likely to clot (hypercoagulability)
  • Cancer
  • Taking estrogens or birth control pills.
  • Long airplane flights: London’s Heathrow Airport reports one passenger death a month from DVT. One nearby hospital recorded thirty passenger deaths from DVT in the past three years including a 28-year-old man. To reduce the risk of DVT during air travel,  passengers are advised to wear compression stockings on flights, frequent moving aroudnt he cabinand pumping the calf muscles, leg elevation and avoidance of sedentary positions for long periods of time without moving.

If you might have a DVT, it is important to see a doctor. Signs of a DVT may be sudden leg pain and swelling. It can be diagnosed by ultrasound imaging. See our other blogs about ultrasound imaging and DVT detection.

DVT (Deep Venous Thrombosis) Afflicts American Idol2014-08-06T01:09:47-07:00
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