Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot which has developed in one of the deep veins in the body, usually in a leg.

A pulmonary embolism is a blood clot in the pulmonary artery, which is the blood vessel that transports blood from the heart to the lungs.

Both DVT and pulmonary embolism are serious conditions that require urgent investigation and treatment.

Each year, one in every 1,000 people in the UK is affected by DVT.


Case Study

Undiagnosed DVT leading to death – Clip from BBC News

Undiagnosed Deep Vein Thrombosis Kills Mother Of Three – “Alison Taylor, 29, from Syston, died in March 2010 despite visits to her GP, Mr Hussey and Dr Das Bhari, at the Syston Medical Centre, and The Leicester Royal Infirmary.” – Read the full case study here.


Anyone can develop a DVT or pulmonary embolism but it becomes more common with age. Other risk factors include:

  • previous history of blood clots /venous thromboembolism
  • a family history of thrombosis
  • medical conditions such as cancer and heart failure
  • inactivity (for example, after an operation, long period of inactivity such as long flight or period in bed whether in hospital or at home)
  • being overweight or obese
  • having surgery on your abdomen, hips or legs and having a general anaesthetic
  • currently having cancer or having had it in the past
  • having problems with your heart, lungs, bowel or joints
  • pregnancy

In some cases of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) there may be no symptoms, but possible symptoms can include:

  • pain, swelling and tenderness in one of your legs (usually your calf)
  • a heavy ache in the affected area
  • warm skin in the area of the clot
  • redness of your skin, particularly at the back of your leg, below the knee

If you have a pulmonary embolism, you may experience more serious symptoms such as:

  • breathlessness, which may come on gradually or suddenly
  • chest pain, which may become worse when you breathe in
  • sudden collapse

If you feel that you, or someone you know, has a DVT claim and you would to discuss this with our experienced team, please call us on 0800 952 0010 or 0116 254 7456 or email: You can also enquire online by clicking here.