Information for the public
The conditions and the treatment
When a blood clot forms in one of the deep veins in the leg, thigh, pelvis or arm it is called a deep vein thrombosis. The clot itself is not life‑threatening, but if it comes loose it can be carried in the blood to another part of the body where it can cause problems. If the clot is carried to the lungs, it is called a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal.
Even if a blood clot does not come loose, it can still cause long‑term damage to the veins leading to pain and swelling.
Dabigatran etexilate (also known as Pradaxa) is an anticoagulant medicine that helps to prevent blood from clotting. It does this by interfering with a substance in the body called thrombin, which is involved in the development of blood clots.
NHS Choices (www.nhs.uk) may be a good place to find out more.