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Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Turns Awareness Into Action as it Declares First-Of-Its-Kind National DVT Screening Day
Date:3/25/2008

In tandem with its Fifth-Annual DVT Awareness Month, the Coalition names March 25, 2008 as a day to focus on patient risk assessment

CLEVELAND, March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis, with the support of Premier Healthcare Alliance declares March 25, 2008 National DVT Screening Day as part of DVT Awareness Month. In a call to action for the medical community nationwide, hospitals and healthcare providers are encouraged to risk-assess patients for DVT, a serious health condition. Healthcare professionals are encouraged to implement evidence-based measures that may improve the quality of care through better DVT diagnosis and treatment.

Up to two million Americans suffer from DVT annually; approximately 300,000 die from a potentially fatal complication, pulmonary embolism (PE), the majority of which result from DVT. DVT-related PE is the most common cause of preventable hospital death. Complications from DVT kill more people each year in the U.S. than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

As part of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Quality Initiative, Premier tests and uses guidelines that provide evidence-based measures to improve patient safety and the quality of clinical care. As one of the largest healthcare alliances, Premier is encouraging hospitals across the country to focus on the prevention of DVT and strategies to improve patient safety surrounding DVT within their individual health system.

"We are proud to be at the forefront of this action-oriented initiative to improve patient care and potentially save lives. Raising awareness of the potential risks of DVT and PE are the first step to reducing the related potential for death or disability; and now the second step is to actively screen at-risk patients so they may benefit from early diagnosis and treatment," explains Mike Alkire, President, Premier Purchasing Partners, LP.

"The Coalition members have worked steadily for five years to raise public awareness of DVT and PE, but now it is time to turn that awareness into professional action," explained Geno Merli, M.D., Coalition to Prevent DVT Steering Committee member and Chief Medical Officer, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, Philadelphia. "On this day, we are challenging hospitals to risk assess for this often-under-recognized condition."

The National Screening Day launches at the Cleveland Clinic with an awareness event at 11:00 a.m. featuring ESPN Sportscaster Bonnie Bernstein.

Among the resources for DVT screening and treatment that healthcare professionals can follow, the Coalition suggests that providers refer to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which offers an expanded set of inpatient hospital quality measures that include details on DVT risk assessment. As part of the CMS Quality Initiative, such guidelines provide evidence-based measures to improve patient safety and the quality of clinical care. For additional information surrounding CMS quality initiatives visit http://www.cms.hhs.gov/HospitalQualityInits/35_HospitalPremier.asp.

DVT occurs when a thrombus or blood clot forms in one of the large veins, usually in the lower limbs, leading to either partially or completely blocked circulation. A DVT blood clot has the potential to move into the lungs and block circulation to this vital organ, creating a life-threatening condition -- PE -- that requires immediate medical attention. For more information about The Coalition to Prevent DVT and the National DVT Screening Day visit http://www.preventdvt.org.

About DVT Awareness Month

National DVT Screening Day and DVT Awareness Month are being sponsored by the Coalition to Prevent DVT to raise awareness of this serious medical condition among consumers, healthcare professionals, government 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 comprise 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 50 members from nationally known medical societies, patient advocacy groups and other public health organizations. The Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis is funded by sanofi-aventis U.S. LLC.


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SOURCE Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis
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