CHICAGO, Ill. (March 28, 2011)Deep vein thrombosis, or DVT: it's more than just a one-time complication from taking a long plane ride. The Society of Interventional Radiology wants individuals to know the risk factors for this very serious condition, which can lead to post-thrombotic syndrome, pulmonary embolism, permanent damage to the leg and even death.
"Individuals and their doctors need to be aware that in the United States alone about 600,000 people are hospitalized with deep vein thrombosis each year and more than 100,000 people die of resulting pulmonary embolism," explained Suresh Vedantham, M.D., FSIR, an interventional radiologist and professor of radiology and surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. "March is DVT Awareness Month, and there is a need to alert people that deep vein thrombosissometimes called Economy Class Syndromeis not just a one-time complication from taking a long plane ride. It affects men, women and the elderlyeven childrenwhether or not they travel," stressed Vedantham at SIR's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill. He also noted that common risk factors for DVT include prolonged immobility, recent surgery or major injury, hormone therapy or use of birth control pills, current or recent pregnancy, cancer and obesity. The most serious complication of DVT is when a blood clot breaks off and travels to the lung where it can become trapped, blocking the oxygen supply, causing heart failure. This is known as a pulmonary embolism, which can be fatal, said Vedantham. Tennis star Serena Williams recently suffered a pulmonary embolism after being treated for an injury and becoming inactive. "This is frightening proof," said Vedantham, "that these conditions can occur without warning. Early recognition and treatment are essential for survival"
"It is also important for people to know that under-recognized and extremely serious complications, such as post-thrombotic syndrome
|Contact: Ellen Acconcia|
Society of Interventional Radiology