If you’re a young, fit person, you might think that your need for a sequential compression device (SCD) like the Medshoola™ Compression Pump is years away.

That’s what tennis player Serena Williams thought before she developed a pulmonary embolism (PE) that cost her almost a year of court time. Former NBA player Jerome Kersey wasn’t as lucky. He died from PE.

You can avoid making the same mistake they did.

What Is DVT/PE?

DVT, or deep vein thrombosis, is a blood clot that develops in a deep vein. If a piece or the entire clot breaks off and goes to the lungs, it’s called a pulmonary embolism (PE).

Either condition means that you should seek medical help immediately. Quick treatment means less damage and a greater chance of living.

The Signs and Symptoms

Blood ClotsSwelling, pain, bluish-purple discoloration in your arm or leg, sudden shortness of breath, chest pains when breathing, and fever with any of the above symptoms can mean DVT or PE.

If you know your risk of DVT/PE is greater than typical, make sure to tell your doctor.

Because you are young, it’s easier to mistake DVT for a muscle injury, sprained ankle, shin splints, or a Charlie horse while PE might be labeled pneumonia, costochondritis (rib inflammation), or exercise-induced asthma.

DVT most often starts in your legs, but if you’re a gymnast or weight lifter, it can start in your arms.

What Puts Young People at Risk?

1. Dehydration from an athletic event followed by travel or extended sitting

2. Trauma during an athletic event – further increased if you travel afterward or sit for longer than two hours

3. Sitting for long periods without movement, such as while playing online or console games

4. Surgery for repair of an athletic injury (or for any reason)

5. A family history of DVT/PE

Preventing DVT/PE and forming Blood Clots

1. Stay hydrated. Your blood thickens when you’re dehydrated, making it easier to form blood clots.

2. If you travel following endurance activities or trauma, get up and walk at least once an hour or pump your calves to help move blood through your veins.

3. If you have to travel and can’t move around, consider getting a sequential compression device (SCD) like the Medshoola™ Compression Pump. It prevents your blood from pooling and clotting.

For more information about preventing DVT/PE, the Medshoola™ Compression Pump, and to receive a free “How to see if YOU are at Risk” article, → Help Me Prevent DVT/PE