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OTHER COMPLICATIONS OF SPINAL CORD INJURY: DEEP VENOUS THROMBOSIS (DVT)

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     Some patients with SCI develop deep venous thrombosis (DVT), or clots in the veins that sometimes give rise to clots in the lungs. Possible signs and symptoms of DVT include swelling of the leg, dilation of the veins, increased skin temperature, pain and tenderness, and, rarely, a bluish discoloration of the lower leg. Sometimes, there are no signs and symptoms of DVT. There are also no characteristic signs or symptoms of lung clots, i.e. the signs and symptoms are nonspecific, such as fever, chest pain, cough, or changes in heart beat. Although other measures are sometimes used, the most common form of treatment for DVT is the use of anticoagulants, such as heparin and warfarin.

     The duration of anticoagulation therapy is three to six months. Labwork and physician follow up is very important to monitor blood results and medication. A person who has recurrent DVT's may require lifelong medication management.

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