Local ‘Deep Vein’ investigation

DEEP venous thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot in one of the deep veins in the body, usually in the legs or pelvis.

It can cause pain and swelling in the leg and may lead to complications such as pulmonary embolism which is when a piece of a blood clot breaks off into the bloodstream and blocks one of the blood vessels in the lungs.

There are several things people can do to help prevent DVT, such as stopping smoking, losing weight and walking regularly to improve the circulation in legs.

The Angus pathway for assessment, diagnosis and management of suspected DVT is fully rolled out across the county. Around 22 patients a month are benefiting. Previously patients with suspected DVT would have been assessed at Ninewells Hospital, resulting in many patients having to travel to Ninewells for an ultrasound scan.

Whilst patients who are acutely unwell or are at risk of additional complications continue to attend Ninewells for assessment and management, the majority now have an initial risk assessment performed by their GP. They are then referred by their GP, if appropriate, to Arbroath Infirmary for an ultrasound scan. If diagnosed with a DVT the doctors at Arbroath Infirmary start treatment and liaise with the patient’s GP who will then arrange ongoing management.

The service is supported by new patient information leaflets to make sure patients with a DVT understand their diagnosis and planned management. Patients who do not have a DVT are given a leaflet which outlines what to do if their symptoms do not get better.

Patient satisfaction surveys show 100% of patients attending are happy with the care at Arbroath Infirmary with many praising prompt appointments and the quick turn-around of results reaching their GPs.