‘Genetic, acquired factors can cause abnormal blood clotting’
Dr Deepak Charles, a consultant haematologist-oncologist, explains clotting disorders, prevention, and treatment methods.
Blood clotting disorders are conditions that cause blood to form clots too easily, potentially restricting the normal flow of blood within your body. Dr Deepak Charles, a consultant haematologist-oncologist, explains clotting disorders, prevention, and treatment methods.
Why does abnormal clotting occur?
There are two types of clotting disorders commonly encountered. The most frequently observed is deep vein thrombosis (DVT), which occurs in the lower limbs. In this type, blood clots develop in one of the body’s deep veins. The second type is pulmonary embolism, wherein a blood clot blocks an artery in the lung, halting blood flow. Both genetic and acquired factors contribute to abnormal blood clotting. Genetic factors encompass gene mutations and variations in protein levels. Acquired factors involve the presence of other diseases and the side effects of drugs and medications. Additionally, certain blood-related cancers can trigger abnormal clotting.
What are the trends post Covid-19?
During the pandemic, there was an increase in cases of clotting disorders. One cause was Covid-19 infection itself, as the disorder was observed in those affected by the virus. Furthermore, a connection was identified between clotting disorders and vaccines, particularly the two types available in India. However, after the pandemic, there has been a trend of decreasing case numbers.
Can it be identified early; if so, what are the preventive measures?
Early detection of the disorder is feasible through diligent monitoring. If the disorder is hereditary or if a family member has it, the likelihood of developing the disease is higher. Being attentive to changes and symptoms can aid in preventing its occurrence. Symptoms like swelling and unexplained pain should prompt consultation with a doctor for timely detection. It’s important to note that clotting can occur anywhere in the body, not solely in the legs.
What are the treatment options?
The primary treatment for clotting disorders involves anti-clotting measures, which typically employ blood thinners. These medications can be administered orally or via injection. Additionally, minimally-invasive procedures can remove blood clots. This intervention employs specialized devices to effectively remove clots.