Dodging DVT

Group launches Deep Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month

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WEDNESDAY, March 17, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- The first Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month has been launched by the Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis.

The public health initiative will use public service announcements, articles and other methods to educate health-care workers and the public about this life-threatening but preventable medical condition.

As many as 2 million Americans are affected by DVT each year, according to the American Heart Association. DVT is a blood clot that forms in one of the large veins, usually in the lower limbs, resulting in either partially or completely blocked circulation.

DVT can lead to pulmonary embolism (PE), a serious and potentially fatal complication that claims as many as 200,000 lives each year in the United States.

Despite the serious health threat posed by DVT, 74 percent of Americans have little or no awareness of DVT, according to a national survey sponsored by the American Public Health Association.

"Now, more than ever, we think that a focused effort is needed to raise awareness about the signs, symptoms and risk factors associated with DVT and PE, and to educate the public that this condition is preventable," Dr. Franklin Michota, Jr., from the Society of Hospital Medicine and a coalition member, says in a prepared statement.

"Our goal is to help people recognize if they're at risk for DVT and to encourage them to speak to their doctor. In doing so, we believe our effort will help to reduce the number of people who die from complications of this condition," Michota says.

More information

The U.S. National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute has more about DVT.

SOURCE: Coalition to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis, news release, March 2004

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