According to the University of Adelaide forensic pathologist Professor Roger Byard, many elderly people die in their homes each year in Australia due to ruptured varicose veins.
While the incidence of deaths due to haemorrhage from varicose veins is rare, most deaths are entirely preventable with proper care.
Since the skin and tissue of elderly people is so fragile, they are more likely to sustain minor leg injuries and ulcers which can lead to ruptured veins. The major issue at hand is the fact that elderly people are living alone and are vulnerable and unaware of what to do in the case of a haemorrhage. Knowing what to do in an emergency can be the difference between life and death for many people with varicose veins. For example, since veins can bleed quite dramatically with only relatively minor injuries, it is crucial for those with varicose veins to wear a stocking dressing with firm pressure to the site of the haemorrhage and to elevate the bleeding leg.
While the development of varicose veins can be a cause of shame and self-consciousness, it is the underlying health issues which often prove the greatest justification for treatment. Varicose Veins will not disappear by themselves and complications may arise if severe varicose veins are left untreated.
Conditions arising from lack of treatment may include:
- Phlebitis (inflammation in a vein)
- Blood Clots (thrombosis)
- Leg Swelling
- Skin Pigmentation
- Eczema or Dermatitis
- Leg Ulcers (occurs in up to 20% of people with varicose veins)
Here at the Varicose Vein Clinic in Brisbane our expertise is in the assessment and treatment of varicose veins. If you are concerned about your varicose veins or noticing an increase in the above conditions please contact us for an examination.