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The Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) RV Tour Takes to the Road to Educate the Nation About the Importance of DVT Risk Assessment
Date:3/10/2009

Driving to Reduce the Risks of DVT to Mark U.S. House of Representatives National Screening

NEW YORK, March 10 /PRNewswire/ -- The Coalition to Prevent DVT today announced the launch of its first nationwide tour to raise public awareness about deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) and to encourage dialogue between healthcare professionals and patients about this serious but preventable condition. A customized recreational vehicle will visit hospitals and local communities nationwide during the Driving to Reduce the Risks of DVT tour, promoting the importance of having healthcare professionals risk assess patients for DVT. The RV's first stop will be at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City on March 10, 2009.

That date is significant because it marks National DVT Screening Day as declared in a resolution by the U.S. House of Representatives.

Public Health Crisis

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 can break off and may cause severe complications, some even fatal. A DVT blood clot has the potential to move into the lungs and block circulation to this vital organ creating a life-threatening condition - pulmonary embolism, or PE - which requires immediate medical attention.

Up to 2 million Americans are affected by DVT annually. Approximately 300,000 Americans die each year from pulmonary embolism (PE)(2), the majority of which result from DVT(3). Complications from DVT kill more Americans than breast cancer and AIDS combined(4). Building awareness through activities like the Driving to Reduce the Risks of DVT tour is crucial to improving patient safety.

"In the last five years, the Coalition has made great strides in raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of DVT on both a national and grassroots level," said Melanie Bloom, National Patient Spokesperson for the Coalition, whose husband, NBC correspondent David Bloom, died from complications of DVT while covering the war in Iraq. "This year, it is time to harness that awareness and turn it into action by encouraging people to assess their risks of developing DVT."

Since its inception more than six 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. Part of that Call encourages healthcare professionals to assess their patients' risk for DVT.

"As a healthcare professional, you have the ability to make a difference. With proper risk assessment and medical care, the risk of developing a DVT can be reduced," said Dr. Geno Merli, Coalition to Prevent DVT Steering Committee member and Chief Medical Officer at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia. "By shining a national spotlight on this important health issue and then literally driving information into local communities, we are encouraging healthcare professionals to properly risk assess their patients and to utilize screening tools that can work to address and close the gap between risk and patient understanding."

Driving Awareness

The Driving to Reduce the Risks of DVT tour is an important part of the national dialogue about DVT. By bringing this national health issue to local communities, the Coalition hopes to underscore the need for greater risk assessment and proper treatment for what has become the most common cause of preventable hospital death in the United States(5).

The tour features interactive patient activities, including assessment kiosks that provide personalized risk information. Visitors will also receive educational brochures and a DVT Awareness Month pin featuring the new Coalition logo and DVT icon. At each local event, patients have the opportunity to talk with healthcare professionals as well as members of the Coalition.

The tour also includes a recently launched public service announcement featuring Melanie Bloom as well as downloadable risk assessment tools, all of which are accessible at www.preventdvt.org.

For more information about the Coalition to Prevent DVT, visit www.preventdvt.org.

About DVT and DVT Awareness Month

DVT is a blood clot that forms inside a deep vein, most often in the lower leg. Once formed, a blood clot can break off and may cause severe complications, some even fatal. A DVT blood clot has the potential to move into the lungs and block circulation to this vital organ creating a life-threatening condition - pulmonary embolism, or PE - which requires immediate medical attention. 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. The Coalition comprises more than 60 members from medical societies, patient advocacy groups and other public health organizations.

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 to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis is funded by sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC. For more information, visit www.preventdvt.org.

About Driving to Reduce the Risks of DVT

To kick off the sixth national DVT Awareness Month, the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is introducing a RV tour - Driving to Reduce the Risks of DVT campaign. By going "on the road" the Coalition will drive the importance of patient safety, increased DVT awareness and proper patient screening. The RV tour will enhance the grassroots program - bringing greater DVT education, awareness and screening to local markets across the nation. Driving to Reduce the Risks of DVT tour will travel coast-to-coast starting in March to draw national and local attention to this under-recognized yet preventable condition. The local market campaign stops include: Washington, D.C., New York City, Bridgewater, NJ, Raleigh, NC, Richmond, VA, Atlanta, GA, Orlando, FL, Dallas, TX, San Antonio, TX,

Phoenix, AZ, Sacramento, CA, Las Vegas, NV, Denver, CO, Kansas City, KS, Minneapolis, MN, Columbus, OH, Pittsburgh, PA.

(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 at: 47th Annual Meeting and Exposition, American Society of Hematology; December 2005; Atlanta GA, Poster [68].

(3) Murin et al. Thromb Haemost. Comparison of the Outcomes after Hospitalization for Deep Venous Thrombosis or Pulmonary Embolism. 2002; 88:407-14.

(4) Gerotziafas GT, Samama MM. Prophylaxis of venous thromboembolism medical patients. CurrOpin PulmMed. 2004; 10:356-365.

(5) 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.


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SOURCE Coalition to Prevent DVT
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