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Press Room : Press Releases

Press Room : Press Releases

For Immediate Release — March 5, 2007

March is DVT Awareness Month: Help Educate the General Public about the Signs and Symptoms and Save Lives

In anticipation of DVT Awareness Month this March, the Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF) and the newly formed Venous Disease Coalition want to encourage people to know the warning signs and symptoms of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). DVT affects up to two million Americans each year and can lead to a potentially fatal condition known as a pulmonary embolism (PE).

The U.S. Surgeon General’s office has acknowledged the importance of DVT education, and held a specially convened Surgeon General’s Workshop on DVT in 2006.

DVT occurs when a blood clot, or thrombus, develops in the large veins of the legs, pelvic area, or arms. With prompt diagnosis and treatment, the majority of DVTs are not life- threatening. However, if the blood clot breaks loose and travels through the heart to the lung, a condition known as a pulmonary embolism (PE) occurs. If the traveling clot, called an embolus, clogs the main lung artery, it can be fatal. It is estimated that 650,000 PEs occur annually, placing it as the third most common cause of hospital death.

More people suffer from DVT annually than from heart attack or stroke, and up to 600,000 are hospitalized. DVT affects men and women, all ethnic groups, and all social levels.

As a result of the Surgeon General’s acknowledgement of the need for DVT education, VDF is helping to initiate a Venous Disease Coalition to help provide public education about venous diseases. Over 20 professional and public organizations have expressed interest in helping to create the coalition which will provide accurate, unbiased information to the general public and medical community about venous diseases, including DVT and PE.

Venous Disease Coalition Co-Chairs are available for interviews regarding DVT, PE and other venous diseases:

Robert B. McLafferty, MD

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine

Springfield, IL

Samuel Z. Goldhaber, MD

Harvard Medical School

Boston, MA

Suresh Vedantham, MD

Washington University School of Medicine

St. Louis, MO

Jeffery Weitz, MD

McMaster’s University

Hamilton, Ontario

The Colorado-based Vascular Disease Foundation is the only national organization with the sole purpose of educating the public about vascular diseases. It is the most trusted source of credible, scientific and non-biased information on vascular diseases. For more information, call 888.VDF.4INFO (888.833.4463).