AN East Lancashire sportswoman is urging people to look out for the symptoms of Deep Vein Thrombosis after suffering a life-changing episode of the condition.

Hockey player Diane Calvert, from Burnley, had a routine knee operation in 2012 to repair her cartilage and clean out her left knee ready for a ligament transplant following an injury.

But she then had a serious thrombosis, or blood clot, which has left her on blood thinning drugs for life.

She is now raising awareness of the symptoms of the condition during DVT month from March 1 to 31

The morning after her operation Ms Calvert had two red and hot pinpricks on her shin. On day four, she started to experience flu-like symptoms then her lower leg became red and her ankle swelled up.

Despite being unable stand up for more than 10 seconds and exhausted she thought it was linked to her operation and decided to wait until her follow-up appointment three weeks later.

Then her consultant told her she had a serious DVT stretching from her ankle right up to her abdomen and was prescribed injected anti-coagulants.

She now has to take the medication for the rest of her life.

Ms Calvert was shocked as she had been warned about DVT.

She said: “Whilst mine was a very unusual case because of the seriousness of it, it could have been avoided or treated earlier if I had known what to look out for.

“As a result I have had to change my job as I used to be on my feet all day. I can no longer play hockey which I am devastated about.”

These symptoms of a blood clot may feel similar to a pulled muscle and can include: swelling, usually in one leg or arm; leg pain or tenderness; reddish / blue skin discolouration; and having a leg or arm which is warm to touch.

Ms Calvert has been supported by charity Thrombosis UK and features its ‘Through the Lens’ campaign to raise awareness of the condition

Jo Jerrome, its chief executive, said: “Although many are unaware, a significant risk factor for thrombosis is admission to hospital, and this risk remains for up to 90 days after discharge.

“It is vital that everyone admitted to hospital is given written information about thrombosis, has opportunity to discuss this and is aware of how to help to reduce their risk, and of the possible symptoms. Anyone can be at risk of thrombosis, it is so important for us all to ‘Think Thrombosis’ – awareness really does save lives.”