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Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

The DVT service provides rapid (on the day) investigation and treatment for patients with suspected DVT. This aim of the service is to provide care closer to home and prevent complications from DVT. 
Patients are referred in from GP practices to one of four treatment centres across Epping and Harlow and are managed within the centres until the DVT is treated and patient is discharged.

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A DVT is a blood clot (thrombosis) often located in the deeper veins of the leg.  DVTs can sometimes lead to other complications, for instance, if the blood clot spreads to another part of the body, in particular the lungs.  When a DVT is confirmed, you will usually be treated with drugs called anticoagulants which “thin the blood”.  You will need to be carefully monitored to ensure that your dosage of medication is correct and to avoid complications of excessive bleeding or bruising. 

Patients with a DVT often have a swollen lower leg. 

When you arrive at the DVT treatment hub, a healthcare assistant will carry out some basic observations including a D-dimer blood test.  This provides a good indicator as to whether or not you have a DVT.  You will then see a doctor who will discuss the next steps.  You may be given treatment straightaway (a tablet) or you may need to attend the local hospital for an urgent ultrasound scan.

Ultrasound uses sound waves to evaluate the flow of blood in your veins and identify any blockages.  A gel will be put onto your leg and a handheld device is moved over the surface of the skin to examine the deep veins of the affected area.  This test usually takes approximately 15 minutes.

My scan does NOT confirm a DVT. What happens next?

If your blood test was negative, then the swelling in your leg is not caused by a DVT.  Therefore if the doctor started you on precautionary medication, you will be advised to stop treatment.

If your blood test was positive, but your scan was negative, the doctor might request a repeat ultrasound in a few weeks.

If the scan shows a DVT, you will continue with your medication treatment plan.

HOW LONG WILL I NEED TREATMENT AND HOW WILL I BE FOLLOWED UP?

This is variable but often between 3-6 months.  Your GP will advise you. If you have a confirmed DVT, you will be followed up at the treatment hub in three months. If you, do not have a confirmed DVT, then you will be discharged back to your regular General Practitioner.

CLINICS 

Clinic days: Monday to Friday 

Clinic times: 08:00-17:00

Venue: Kings Medical Centre, Buckhurst Hill, IG9 5LP

Venue: Lister House Medical Centre, Harlow, CM18 7LU

Venue: Limes Medical Centre, Epping, CM16 6TL

Please see the map below.

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