NEW YORK, March 3 The Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) moves into action with the seventh national DVT Awareness Month by introducing DVT Awareness In Motion, an educational program designed to drive dialogue about the importance of preventative care for DVT via simple movements - that can be done anywhere and anytime.
The Coalition is partnering with Mary Ann Wilson, R.N., founder and host of the PBS broadcast, "Sit and Be Fit," to present DVT Awareness In Motion. The educational program will demonstrate simple movements that may help reduce the risk of DVT by encouraging blood circulation. The movements are tailored to settings where mobility is usually restricted such as a hospital bed, in the work place, in assisted-living and rehabilitation facilities and during travel. The program goes beyond building traditional awareness of the signs and symptoms of DVT and emphasizes the importance of preventative care in these everyday settings.
"As a registered nurse I have witnessed firsthand how movement can help improve people's overall health and well being," said Mary Ann Wilson. "I am thrilled to partner with the Coalition to Prevent DVT to create this exciting new program, DVT Awareness In Motion."
DVT is a national public health crisis,(1) but many healthcare professionals and patients are unaware of the risks. DVT is a blood clot that forms inside a deep vein, most often in the lower leg. Once formed, a blood clot or fragment of a clot can break off and may cause severe complications, such as a pulmonary embolism (PE)(2) and even death if not diagnosed and treated appropriately.(3)
Up to 2 million Americans are affected by DVT annually.(4) Approximately 300,000 Americans die each year from PE;(5) DVT-related PE is the leading cause of preventable hospital death in U.S. hospitals.(6) The risk of developing DVT is nearly eight times higher during hospitalization,(7) but many patients develop a DVT within the first month following hospital discharge. Complications from DVT claim the lives of more Americans than breast cancer and AIDS combined.(8)
"The goal of DVT Awareness In Motion is to use movement as a way to continue to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of DVT, to help assess personal risk of developing a DVT and to encourage dialogue with a healthcare professional," explained Melanie Bloom, National Patient Spokesperson for the Coalition, whose husband, NBC correspondent David Bloom, died seven years ago from DVT-related complications while covering the war in Iraq. "I encourage everyone to participate in the program and download information from the Coalition's Web site, to learn more about the important role of movement in helping to reduce your risk."
Not only does DVT Awareness In Motion provide a platform to encourage discussion about DVT/PE and risk assessment, it also provides healthcare professionals with a practical tool to increase patient involvement and useful activities that may help lower patients' risk.
"When the muscles of the legs are inactive, blood can collect in the lower extremities, increasing the risk for developing a DVT. However, when the muscles of the legs are active, they help improve circulation by pushing the blood back to the heart," explained Dr. Geno Merli, Coalition to Prevent DVT Steering Committee member and Chief Medical Officer at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia. "Although certain individuals may be at an increased risk for developing DVT, it can occur in almost anyone. So, it's important to maintain regular mobility to sustain proper blood circulation."
Since its inception more than seven years ago, the Coalition to Prevent DVT has worked to establish DVT as a national health priority through grassroots campaigns and partnerships with public policy leaders. These efforts helped lead to a recent Call to Action on DVT and PE from the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General.
"As a survivor of DVT and PE, I know from my own experiences the importance of being aware of your risks and taking action to reduce them," said Bonnie Bernstein, ESPN sportscaster and National Patient Spokesperson for the Coalition. "DVT can happen to almost anyone, which is why programs like DVT Awareness In Motion are so important in spreading the word and educating people on what they can do to reduce the risk."
The DVT Awareness In Motion program includes both a movement guide featuring simple low-impact movements and an educational video with Melanie Bloom and Bonnie Bernstein speaking about their unique experiences with DVT/PE, and expert medical information delivered by Dr. Geno Merli.
Movement is just one way to help prevent a DVT. There are many things people can do to help reduce the risk for DVT, such as avoiding smoking and staying hydrated. Some patients may require compression stockings or medications such as anticoagulants.
The Coalition is also announcing the launch of its new and improved Web site, which places a greater emphasis on patient education and awareness. The Web site, which is located at www.preventdvt.org, shares information about the DVT Awareness In Motion program and hosts tools available for download.
For more information about the Coalition to Prevent DVT, visit www.preventdvt.org.
About DVT Awareness In Motion
To kick off the seventh annual Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month, the Coalition to Prevent DVT is introducing the DVT Awareness In Motion national educational program. Working with Mary Ann Wilson, R.N., founder and host of the PBS broadcast, "Sit and Be Fit," the Coalition has developed an educational video that features simple, low-impact movements to help increase blood circulation. The movements featured in the video are tailored to settings where mobility is usually restricted such as a hospital bed, in the work place, in assisted-living and rehabilitation facilities and during travel. The program goes beyond building traditional awareness of the signs and symptoms of DVT and emphasizes the importance of preventative care in these everyday settings.
About DVT and DVT Awareness Month
March is DVT Awareness Month, which is championed by the Coalition to Prevent DVT to raise awareness of this serious medical condition among consumers, healthcare professionals and public health leaders.
About the Coalition to Prevent DVT
The mission of the Coalition to Prevent DVT is to reduce the immediate and long-term dangers of DVT and PE, which together make up 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 reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality from DVT and PE. The Coalition is composed of more than 60 members from medical societies, patient advocacy groups and other public health organizations dedicated to raising awareness of this serious medical condition. The Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis is funded by sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. For more information, visit www.preventdvt.org.
(1) American Public Health Association. Presented at: Public Health Leadership Conference on Deep Vein Thrombosis; February 26, 2003: Washington, D.C. White Paper.
(2) Heit et al. Am Soc Hematol. Presented a: 47th Annual Meeting and Exposition, American Society of Hematology; December 2005; Atlanta GA, Poster .
(3) Goldhaber SZ. Deep vein thrombosis: advancing awareness to protect patient lives. White paper. American Public Health Association; Public Health Leadership Conference: Washington, DC: February 26, 2003.
(4) Gerotziafas GT, Samama MM. Prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism medical patients. CurrOpin PulmMed. 2004; 10:356-365.
(5) Murin et al. Thromb Haemost. Comparison of the Outcomes after Hospitalization for Deep Venous Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism. 2002; 88: 407-14.
(6) Geerts WH, Pineo GF, Heit JA, et al. Prevention of venous thromboembolism: The Seventh ACCP Conference on Antithrombotic and Thrombolytic Therapy. Chest.2004;126(suppl):338S-400S.
(7) Heit JA, Silverstein MD, Mohr DN, Petterson TM, O'Fallon WM, Melton LJM III. Risk factors for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism: a population-based case-control study. Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(6):809-815.
(8) Gerotziafas GT, Samama MM. Prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism medical patients. CurrOpin PulmMed. 2004; 10:356-365.
SOURCE The Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis