MARCH WAS DVT AWARENESS MONTH

Author: Anna D. Garrett, PharmD, BCPS, CPP

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month was first designated in 2004 after the death of David Bloom, a reporter embedded with US forces in Iraq. Bloom developed a pulmonary embolus (PE) and died while riding in a tank in Iraq in February 2003. DVT Awareness Month is sponsored by the Coalition to Prevent DVT. Members of the coalition represent nationally known medical societies, patient advocacy groups, and other public health organizations.

The mission of the coalition is to reduce the immediate and long-term dangers of DVT and PE, which together comprise one of the nation's leading causes of death. The group educates the public, health care professionals, and policy makers about risk factors, symptoms, and signs associated with DVT, as well as identifying evidence-based measures to prevent morbidity and mortality from DVT and PE.

The American Heart Association estimates that up to 2 million Americans are affected by these conditions each year. Of those who develop PE, as many as 200,000 will die. Patients and health care professionals can find more information at www.preventdvt.org.

Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitioner at Cornerstone Health Care in High Point, NC.