Lythgoe says of blood clots in the legs: “Blood clots in the legs are commonly known as DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis) and always needs checking out.
“Certain factors can raise our risk of getting DVT such as being overweight, smoking, taking contraceptive or HRT medication, pregnancy, being over 60 or having recently had a long flight, prolonged time in bed, or an operation that could make you more susceptible.
“There are various signs that you may have a blood clot and you may notice some or all of these; any pain, cramping or throbbing in one of your legs, if one leg is more swollen than the other or if the painful area is warm and the skin discoloured.”
Lythgoe added: “If you notice any of these signs it’s definitely worth getting these checked with a healthcare professional.”
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However, some symptoms of blood clots may not necessarily mean that you have a blood clot.
Lythgoe explained: “If you have some of those signs and symptoms but don’t have a DVT then it may be a problem with the blood flow through your veins, an infection, inflammation or a muscular issue.
“If you are at all concerned then a chat with a healthcare professional who can help to decide the next step, the clinician may organise a blood test or imaging of your leg to determine what’s going on.”
The important message is that while symptoms of a blood clot may not lead to a blood clot diagnosis, it is nevertheless important to get seen just in case. Furthermore, it is also important to be aware of what can increase your risk of a blood clot developing.
One of these risk factors could be COVID-19. According to a recent study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) people who experienced a mild form of COVID-19 were over two and a half times more likely to develop a blood clot.
Furthermore, these patients were also 10 times more likely to pass away early than those who had not had COVID-19.
The study – which forms part of a growing body of research on COVID-19’s impact on cardiovascular health – concluded: “Overall, our results indicate that while COVID-19 exposure is associated with increased risk of incident adverse cardiovascular events, such risks are almost entirely confined to those with disease requiring hospitalisation and highest in the early (first 30 days) post-infection period.”
On COVID-19, it’s not just the impact on the cardiovascular health of adults that’s a concern, but of children too.
Last month, Express.co.uk spoke to Doctor Binita Kane, an expert on long Covid in children. Doctor Kane highlighted how long Covid, a condition that affects around two million adults, is also affecting the youngest in our society.
Around 100,000 children in the UK are estimated to be living with prolonged symptoms of COVID-19, a number set to grow as the pandemic continues.
Children were completely defenceless during the pandemic as they experienced multiple reinfections and almost no vaccinations; a proverbial perfect storm for COVID-19 and long Covid.
In common with adults, children also face worse cardiovascular health as a result of COVID-19. Doctor Kane said there were already studies showing the impact the virus was having.
The SAGE scientist explained: “There’s evidence from one study that even children who had recovered from Covid had persistent defects in their lungs, caused by abnormal clots blocking oxygen from getting into the bloodstream.
“They looked at 53 children, with nine healthy children who’d never had Covid and half of the kids out of the 50 had had Covid and recovered, the other half had Covid and gone on to develop long Covid.
“What they found was that the lung defects looked worse in the long Covid kids, but there were still significant abnormal findings in the kids that had recovered.”
With regards to the long-term impact, Doctor Kane said: “There’s absolutely no good news coming out of the research studies about how this might impact the population in the future.”