Blood Clots (Deep Venous Thrombosis – DVT)
DVT refers to clots that form in the legs or arms, not the brain. These clots are very common; they occur in approximately 40 percent of patients with brain injuries. Clots are serious because they can break off from the blood vessels of the leg and travel to the lungs causing damage or even death. Signs of a DVT may include swelling, redness, or pain in the area of the clot.
Patients with brain injury are watched closely for DVT and are sometimes given blood thinning medicines to reduce their risk. If the physician suspects that a blood clot has formed, a Doppler or blood flow test may be indicated. If a clot in the lung is suspected, a CT scan may be ordered. If a blood clot is discovered, a strong blood thinner or filters placed in the veins can be used for treatment.(brainline.org)