Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism

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A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a major vein of the leg or, less commonly, in the arms, pelvis, or other large veins in the body. In some cases, a clot in a vein may detach from its point of origin and travel through the heart to the lungs where it becomes wedged, preventing adequate blood flow.

This is called a pulmonary (lung) embolism (PE) and can be extremely dangerous. Risk factors for DVT include recent surgery or injury, immobilisation, obesity, combined oral contraceptive pill, testosterone therapy, long-haul flights or family history of venous thromboembolism (DVT or PE).

Blood clots are treated differently depending on the location of the clot and your health. If you are experiencing symptoms and suspect you may have a blood clot, see a doctor immediately.

There have been many research advances that have improved the prevention and treatment of blood clots. If you are diagnosed with a venous clot, your doctor may refer you to a hematologist.

Blood clots are among the most preventable types of blood conditions. There are several ways to decrease your chances of developing a blood clot, such as controlling your risk factors when possible.

Blood Transfusions


There are many medical conditions or problems that might require different types of transfusions with red blood cells, platelets and plasma. Some of the reasons a transfusion might be required include cancer, operations, blood diseases, pregnancy and childbirth. A blood transfusion is a routine medical procedure in which donated red blood cells (‘blood’) are provided to you through a narrow tube placed within a vein in your arm.

At Central Coast Haematology blood transfusions are most commonly required for patients with haematological malignancies where anaemia arises due to bone marrow dysfunction or the effects of chemotherapy.

Your blood will be tested 1-2 days before each transfusion by NSW Health Pathology (for patients receiving a blood transfusion at Gosford or Wyong Hospital) or a private laboratory (Laverty or Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology) if you are receiving a blood transfusion in a private hospital. This will allow the transfusion laboratory to select appropriate blood to ensure a compatible transfusion.

Blood in Australia is collected by the Australian Red Cross Lifeblood from voluntary, unpaid donors. All donors are interviewed and assessed for suitability to donate blood. Every blood donation is tested for the presence of certain infections such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. These tests must be negative before blood is released for transfusion.

Most people do not feel any different during a transfusion. Reactions from receiving a transfusion are uncommon, and usually mild. However, some rare, but serious reactions can occur. Reactions can occur during, or in the weeks after, a transfusion. Signs of a transfusion reaction may include: rash, itching, hives, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, fast or irregular heartbeat, high temperature, pain at the needle site, dark or decreased amount of urine, chills, shaking. If you feel unwell during your transfusion it is important to call the nurse immediately so they can assess if you are having a transfusion reaction. If you feel unwell in the weeks after your transfusion, please contact your doctor as soon as possible.

Blood transfusions are arranged for patients at Gosford and Wyong Hospitals, Gosford Private Hospital, Brisbane Waters Private Hospital or Tuggerah Lakes Private Hospital.