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Coagulation Corner

Monday, October 3, 2016

World Thrombosis Day - October 13th

Written By Donna Castellone, MS, MT (ASCP) SH | LinkedIn

KNOW Thrombosis - Risks and Reducing the Burden

What is a burden? It is that which is carried, and borne with difficulty.

This is the purpose of having a day dedicated to thrombois. To increase awareness of its causes, how it manifest itself and how it impacts lives. This comes with the hope of reducing the burden of thrombosis in health care, families and society.

Maybe I am preaching to the choir, but then again maybe not- do you really know all the aspects of thrombosis? Can you become an advocate for someone else, or educate someone? Setting aside a day- to helping people say NOW to thrombosis can save lives. How do we do this? We have to KNOW about thrombosis. The importance of venous thromboembolism (VTE) is underappreciated.

Did you know?

  • 1 in 4 people die due to causes related to thrombosis. These include the underlying causes of heart attack, ischemic stroke and VTE.
  • The global burden of VTE is estimated to be responsible for between 100 - 300,000 deaths in the US and 544,000 in the EU. It is the leading cause of death and disability with more deaths than AIDS, Breast Cancer and MVA's.
  • The economic burden of VTE is approximately 640 million pounds/year in the UK and adds about 7-10 billion dollars/year in the US. Prevention translates to cost effectiveness.

Public awareness for occurrence is quite low.

  • 16% of people knew that CA had a risk for clotting
  • 25% of people were aware of increased risk with hospital stays
  • 36% knew that surgery could cause a blood clot

3 out of 4 adults don't know what a DVT or PE feels like. What do we need to do, how do you make people aware? Here is a simple task - feel your pulse!

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is irregular heartbeats or arrhythmia. This can cause clots to form in the chamber of the heart and travel to the brain resulting in a stroke. The at risk population includes patients over 60, with congestive heart failure, hypertension, and diabetes.

What is the burden of AF? Well out of 15 million people who have had a stroke, about 15% of them have AF - feel your pulse.

A call to action is to have hospitalized patients to have a VTE risk assessment. Preventative measures could then be implemented proportional to the patients risk. These could include things like intermittent compression, compression stockings or even anticoagulation therapy. 60% of VTE occur within 90 days of hospitalization. It is the leading preventable cause of hospital deaths.

What do symptoms include? Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) includes swelling of the leg, ankle and leg pain, tenderness in the calf, redness or discoloration and warmth. While a pulmonary embolism (PE) includes shortness of breath, chest pain, increased heart rate and fainting as well as extreme tiredness.

It is important to KNOW the symptoms, ask for a risk assessment and be aware and become an advocate to prevent this disorder.

Join the 520 partners, in 80 countries, that have over 7000 educational events planned.

Everyone has a right to know if they are at risk of developing VTE and how to reduce that risk. Exercise it. Pledge it.

Take the Pledge



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