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Coalition Declares March as DVT month

By Michele Borton RN, BSN on behalf of the DVT coalition

March is DVT awareness month!... The National Coalition to prevent DVT and raise awareness of this serious medical condition has declared march as DVT awareness month in memory of NBC News correspondent who died from complications of DVT while embedded with U.S. forces in Iraq...

The National Coalition to Prevent DVT and raise awareness of serious medical condition among consumers, healthcare professionals, government, and public health leaders. The Coalition is comprised of more than 35 representatives from nationally known medical societies, patient advocacy groups, and other public health organizations. The Coalition has received congressional support from Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Byron Dorgan (D-ND) who co-sponsored Senate Resolution 56, which passed with unanimous consent on March 2nd, declaring March DVT Awareness Month in memory of David Bloom.

Melanie Bloom, wife of David Bloom - the NBC News correspondent who died from a pulmonary embolism while embedded with U.S. forces in Iraq - is the spokesperson for the Coalition. She will take part in media interviews, a public service announcement, video news release, and speaking events during DVT Awareness Month.

According to the American Heart Association, up to two million Americans are affected annually by DVT. Of those who develop pulmonary embolism, up to 200,000 will die each year. That is, more Americans die annually from DVT/PE than from breast cancer and AIDS combined. According to a national survey sponsored by the American Public Health Association, 74% of Americans have little or no awareness of DVT. 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.).

The mission of the Coalition to prevent DVT is:

To reduce the immediate and long-term dangers of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), which together comprise one of the nation’s leading causes of death. The Coalition will educate the public, healthcare professionals and policy-makers about risk factors, symptoms and signs associated with DVT, as well as identify evidence-based measures to prevent morbidity and mortality from DVT and PE.

The Coalition has a website at www.preventdvt.org.

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