Experts Urge Immediate Action in Fight Against Deadly Blood Clots
September, 10, 2008 - Members of the Venous Disease Coalition (VDC) and the Office of the Surgeon General will unite to urge immediate action in the fight against deadly blood clots known as deep vein thrombosis (DVT) on Sept. 15. at the VDC Annual Meeting at The Grand Hyatt Hotel, Washington, D.C.
Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, M.D., M.P.H. will give a keynote address on DVT. More than 100 top federal and academic doctors and other healthcare professionals, as well as members of governmental health agencies and professional organizations are expected to attend.
DVT, a deadly but often preventable disorder that occurs in an estimated 1 million Americans every year, refers to the formation of a blood clot in the deep veins, usually of the leg. If a DVT breaks free, it can travel through the heart and into the lungs, causing a fatal pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT survivors can experience long-term leg pain, heaviness and swelling that can progress to difficulty walking, changes in skin color and ulcers. This condition, called post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS), can significantly impair a patient's quality of life.
"Every year, more people die from preventable blood clots than from breast cancer, AIDS and traffic accidents combined," said Samuel Z. Goldhaber, M.D., VDC Chair and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, "It is so important to raise awareness about DVT and PE because although blood clots are common, few Americans have sufficient knowledge about blood clots and how to prevent them."
Dr. Goldhaber will moderate an afternoon panel discussion at which the Venous Disease Coalition will develop an action plan to increase public awareness and to educate healthcare professionals about DVT. Panelists will include:
- The changing care paradigm for DVT (Samuel Z. Goldhaber, M.D.)
- DVT risk - a problem of genes or the environment? (Thomas Ortel, M.D., Ph.D.)
- Why women should care about DVT (Suman Rathbun, M.D.)
- Emerging medical treatments for DVT (Jeffrey Weitz, M.D.)
- Will clot-busting therapies revolutionize DVT care? (Suresh Vedantham, M.D.)
- New ACCP guidelines for DVT (William Geerts, M.D.)
- New strategies to educate the public about DVT (Robert McLafferty, M.D.)
Susan Kahn, M.D., of McGill University, a member of the VDC Science Committee, will present a featured lecture focusing on the long-term consequences of DVT. She will focus on post-thrombotic syndrome, which causes suffering and disability that affect many thousands of Americans.
The American Venous Forum, a member of the VDC, will host a free, on-site venous screening and DVT risk assessment for coalition members, media and guest speakers at the meeting between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. in the Arlington room at the Grand Hyatt.
For more information: www.venousdiseasecoalition.org, www.vdf.org