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Top Doctors Urge Immediate Action to Prevent Deadly Blood Clots at Annual Meeting

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Sept. 9 Members of the VenousDisease Coalition (VDC) and the Office of the Surgeon General will cometogether to urge immediate action to fight deadly blood clots known as deepvein thrombosis (DVT) on Sept. 15 at 9 a.m. at the VDC Annual Meeting at TheGrand Hyatt Hotel, located at 1000 H St. N.W., in Washington, D.C. ActingSurgeon General Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H. will give akeynote address on DVT.

DVT is a deadly but often preventable disorder that occurs in an estimated1 million Americans every year. The term refers to the formation of a bloodclot in the deep veins, usually of the leg. DVT can be dangerous in two ways.First, DVT can be fatal if a blood clot breaks free and travels through theheart and into the lungs. This complication, called pulmonary embolism (PE),causes between 100,000 and 300,000 deaths per year in the United States alone.Second, because blood clots can permanently damage the veins, as many as halfof DVT survivors can experience long-term leg pain, heaviness and swellingthat can progress to difficulty walking, changes in skin color and open legsores (known as ulcers). This condition, called post-thrombotic syndrome(PTS), can significantly impair a patient's quality of life.

More than 100 top federal and academic doctors and other health careprofessionals, as well as members of governmental health agencies andprofessional organizations will attend this historic event.

Samuel Z. Goldhaber, M.D., VDC Chair and Professor of Medicine at HarvardMedical School, will moderate an afternoon panel discussion at which theVenous Disease Coalition will develop an action plan to increase publicawareness and to educate healthcare professionals about DVT. Panelists willinclude:

Susan Kahn, M.D., of McGill University, a member of the VDC ScienceCommittee, will present a featured lecture focusing on the long-termconsequences of DVT. She will focus on post-thrombotic syndrome, which causessuffering and disability that affect many thousands of Americans.

The American Venous Forum, a member of the VDC, will host a free, on-sitevenous screening and DVT risk assessment for coalition members, media andguest speakers at the meeting between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Arlington roomat the Grand Hyatt.

"Every year, more people die from preventable blood clots than from breastcancer, AIDS and traffic accidents combined," said Dr. Goldhaber, Chair of theVDC. "It is so important to raise awareness about DVT and PE because althoughblood clots are common, few Americans have sufficient knowledge about bloodclots and how to prevent them."

About the Venous Disease Coalition

The Venous Disease Coalition (VDC) is an alliance of more than 30 leadinghealth professional societies and patient advocacy groups that have unitedaround a common goal: To improve the survival rates and quality of life forindividuals with, or at risk for, venous disease. The VDC plans to develop anational campaign to educate public and health care professionals in theUnited States about venous disease. The VDC is supported by unrestrictededucational grants from AngioDynamics Inc., BioMedix, BSN Jobst, Cook Medical,Covidien, Eisai Inc., Juzo, sanofi-aventis and Vein Clinics of America. It isa program of the Vascular Disease Foundation. For more information, visitwww.VenousDiseaseCoalition.org.

About the Vascular Disease Foundation

The Colorado-based Vascular Disease Foundation is a national 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization with the sole purpose of educating the public aboutvascular disease. It is the most trusted source of credible, scientific andnon-biased information on vascular disease. For more information, call(888) VDF-4INFO (888) 833-4463) or visit www.vdf.org.-- The changing care paradigm for DVT (Samuel Z. Goldhaber, M.D.) -- DVT risk - a problem of genes or the environment
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