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ClotCare is a member organization of the Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis. Click here to learn more about the Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and DVT Awareness Month, which is held each March.
March is Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month
Marie B. Walker
Updated February, 2008
March, 2008 marks the fifth annual Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month sponsored by the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis. March is officially recognized as Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month by United States Senate Resolution 56.
As a member organization, ClotCare supports the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) in raising awareness of this commonly occurring medical condition and its potentially fatal complication, pulmonary embolism (PE). According to the American Heart Association, up to two million Americans are affected annually by deep vein thrombosis1. Of those who develop pulmonary embolism, up to 300,000 will die each year2,3. That is, more Americans die annually from DVT/PE than from breast cancer and AIDS combined, which account for about 55,000 deaths annually2,3. Yet, according to a national survey sponsored by the American Public Health Association, 74% of Americans have little or no awareness of DVT. Deep vein thrombosis also is among the leading causes of preventable hospital death. Even more disturbing is the fact that, according to a U.S. multi-center study published by two of ClotCare's editorial board members, 58% of patients who developed a DVT while in the hospital received no preventive treatment despite the presence of multiple risk factors and overwhelming data that prophylaxis is very effective at reducing these events (Goldhaber S, Tapson V. A prospective registry of 5,451 patients with ultrasound-confirmed deep vein thrombosis. The American Journal of Cardiology 2004;93:259-262.).
In past years, you may have seen Melanie Bloom, widow of NBC News correspondent David Bloom, on national television programs and in newspaper and magazine stories. Melanie Bloom serves as the national patient advocate in support of the Coalition's efforts. Melanie Bloom's personal commitment to this cause has had a tremendous impact on the awareness of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). She is now leading the charge across the country for DVT patients and their families as they share their stories to raise awareness of deep vein thrombosis.
This year, Melanie Bloom is joined in print and broadcast public service announcements featuring media personalities, including NBC's Meredith Vieira, Al Roker and Campbell Brown; and ABC Sports' Bonnie Bernstein.
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month is a multi-faceted campaign aimed at raising awareness among consumers, healthcare professionals and policy-makers about DVT and PE on a national and local level. The Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis has spearheaded DVT Awareness Month efforts since its launch in March 2003. Click here to view a list of activities going on in March 2008 for DVT Awareness Month.
Click here to view the Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Public Service Announcement. Note that the video may take a few moments to load.
What is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)?
Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a medical condition that occurs when a thrombus (blood clot) forms in one of the large veins, usually in the lower limbs, leading to either partially or completely blocked circulation. It may be caused by a variety of risk factors and triggering events, including cancer, obesity or restricted mobility due to acute medical illness, stroke, major surgery, previous DVT or respiratory failure. DVT symptoms may include tenderness, pain in the leg, swelling and discoloration or redness. The condition may result in health complications, such as pulmonary embolism (PE) and even death if not diagnosed and treated effectively.
Pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs when a blood clot or a part of it breaks loose from the wall of the vein and moves to the lungs, where it blocks a pulmonary artery or one of its branches. In the United States, of those who develop PE, up to 300,000 will die, which is more than from breast cancer and AIDS combined2. PE signs and symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing/coughing up blood, and fainting.
Prophylactic (preventative) treatments for DVT include early mobilization (working to get bedridden patients up and moving around), sequential compression devices to promote blood flow, and/or anticoagulant medications.
If you think you may be at risk for DVT or PE, it is important to consult your healthcare provider. If you think you are experiencing the symptoms of DVT or PE, you should seek medical attention immediately.
Learn More About DVT, PE, Risks, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Prevention, and Treatment on ClotCare
ClotCare has numerous resources to help you learn about deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). You can view a list of our postings related to these issues at http://www.clotcare.com/clotcare/postings.aspx?by=condition&conditionid=6&word=Blood%20Clots. Links to some featured postings and frequently asked questions (FAQs) are below. As always, you are welcome to contact us at email@example.com if you have any questions.
Featured ClotCare Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) & Pulmonary Embolism (PE) Postings
Understanding Deep Vein Thrombosis
This posting explains deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). The posting has information on who is likely to get a DVT, the signs and symptoms of a DVT or PE, how a DVT is diagnosed, how a DVT or PE is treated, and how a DVT or PE can be prevented. You can also see several pictures of what a DVT actually looks like.
Cancer and Deep Vein Thrombosis
This posting provides information for patients with cancer. Deep vein thrombosis is a potential complication for cancer patients.
FAQs About Warfarin (brand name Coumadin)
Warfarin (brand name Coumadin) is an anticoagulant medication used to treat patients who have survived a DVT or PE. This posting answers some of the most common questions asked by patients on warfarin (brand name Coumadin).
Understanding the PT-INR Test
This posting explains the PT-INR test, which is the test used to measure how well warfarin is working.
Featured ClotCare FAQs
What is the d-Dimer Test?
The d-Dimer test is a relatively simple blood test used to test for active clotting. If the d-Dimer blood test is negative (or normal), that virtually rules out active blood clot formation... Learn more at:
Will the blood clot in my leg go away now that I am on medication for it?
Once you have started taking anticoagulant medications after having a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot in the leg), the blood clot may dissolve on its own, or it may remain in your leg indefinitely... Learn more at:
I am taking warfarin (brand name Coumadin) for a blood clot in my leg (DVT). Will the pain in my leg ever go away?
This FAQ explains post-thrombotic syndrome, which is sometimes referred to as chronic venous insufficiency (CVI) or as post-phlebitic syndrome. Pain in the leg from post-thrombotic syndrome may remain even after a blood clot has fully dissolved... Learn more at:
What are graduated compression stockings, where do I get them, and how do I put them on?
Graduated compression stockings are special stockings that help promote circulation in your legs... Learn more at:
Hirsh J, Hoak J. Management of deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. A statement for healthcare professionals. Council on Thrombosis (in consultation with the Council on Cardiovascular Radiology), American Heart Association. Circulation. 1996 Jun 15;93(12):2212-45.
Heit JA, et. al. Abstract #910; 2005:106 (no.11) part 1 of 2, pg. 267a.
Gerotziafas GT, Samama MM. Prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism in medical patients. Curr Opin Pulm Med. 2004 Sep;10(5):356-65.
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