Venous thromboembolism

Medical Specialties: Emergency medicine, Internal medicine


Clinical Definition

A venous thromboembolism is a medical condition, which includes a pulmonary embolism and a deep vein thrombosis. It occurs when a thrombus develops in a vein in the body and obstructs blood flow. Thrombus formation can occur due to several factors, such as venous stasis, inactivity and damage to the vessel walls.


In Our Own Words

A venous thromboembolism is a blood clot lodged in a vein. The blood clot blocks the flow of blood. If a venous thromboembolism travels to the lung, it is called a pulmonary embolism and can prevent blood flow to the lungs. When this occurs, it can be fatal if not treated quickly. There are both hereditary conditions and acquired risk factors, which may contribute to developing a venous thromboembolism. For example, air travel, surgery and immobilization are all acquired risk factors.

Relevant Conditions
  • Prone to clotting
  • Surgical complications
Side Effects
  • Pain and swelling in the affected limb
  • Shortness of breath in a pulmonary embolism
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