Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month

Posted: March 1, 2019

March is national Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month, a public health initiative aimed at raising awareness of this commonly occurring medical condition and its potentially fatal complication, pulmonary embolism. According to the American Heart Association, up to 2 million Americans are affected annually by DVT, more commonly known as blood clots. Most Americans have little or no awareness of DVT, according to a national survey sponsored by the American Public Health Association.

Leading medical, public health and patient advocacy groups are sponsoring the observance and are working to increase awareness of the signs, symptoms and risk factors of DVT.

About DVT

There are two types of veins: deep and superficial. Deep veins are large and surrounded by muscle in the center of a limb. DVT occurs when a thrombus (blood clot) forms in the deep vein, most often in the leg, resulting in partially or completely blocked circulation.

Nearly half of DVT episodes have minimal, if any, symptoms. The most accurate ways to diagnose DVT are through venous ultrasound, venography and Impedance plethysmography.

Clots above the knee can break off and travel up the bloodstream, resulting in a blocked blood vessel in the lung (pulmonary embolism).

According to the American Medical Association, approximately 2 million people suffer from DVT each year, more than the annual amount affected by heart attack or stroke.


Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) are known as venous thromboembolism (VTE).