National program in its fourth year to raise awareness of often silent and preventable killerNEW ORLEANS, LA Ochsner Health System today announced its support of Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month in March as officially recognized by United States Senate Resolution 561 joining a national effort to raise awareness of this serious, yet preventable condition and its potentially fatal complication, pulmonary embolism (PE). According to the American Heart Association, DVT affects up to two million Americans annually.2 Of those Americans who develop PE, up to 200,000 will die each yearmore than from breast cancer and AIDS combined.3,4,5 Yet, most Americans (74 percent) are unaware of DVT according to a national survey sponsored by the American Public Health Association.6 "With our focus on providing exceptional patient care, we are proud to support this national campaign in New Orleans to increase awareness of the signs, symptoms and risk factors of DVT and PE," said Dr. Steven B. Deitelzweig, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chairman of Hospital Medicine at Ochsner. "While this condition costs hospitals an estimated $340 million annually nationwide, it takes a far greater toll on human lives.7 Awareness of the risk factors paired with appropriate preventive measures can reduce the incidence of this condition." The Coalition to Prevent DVT has spearheaded DVT Awareness Month efforts since its launch in March 2003. Melanie Bloom, widow of NBC correspondent David Bloom, continues to serve as the national patient advocate in support of the Coalitions efforts to make this a national public health priority and this year the Coalition along with Mrs. Bloom have raised the bar and are imploring healthcare professionals to employ proper care and treatment of DVT. Mrs. Blooms personal commitment to this cause has had tremendous impact in awareness raising efforts both in the national media as well as the public policy forum. "DVT Awareness Month provides an excellent opportunity for the general public and healthcare community to learn about this preventable and often silent killer," said W. Micheal Alberts, MD, FCCP, Immediate Past President, American College of Chest Physicians. "We encourage the public to know their risk and healthcare professionals to be aware of all the risk factors associated with DVT and then treat those patients appropriately." About Deep-Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism DVT occurs when a thrombus (blood clot) forms in one of the large veins, usually in the lower limbs, leading to either partially or completely blocked circulation. If left untreated, this clot has the potential to move into the lungs and block circulation to this vital organ creating a life threatening condition known as pulmonary embolism (PE) requiring immediate medical attention. Up to 600,000 Americans are hospitalized each year for DVT and its primary complication, PE. Fatal PE may be the most common preventable cause of hospital death in the United States. Complications from DVT kill more people each year in the U.S. than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Certain individuals may be at increased risk for developing DVT; however, it can occur in almost anyone. Additional risk factors include, but are not limited to restricted mobility, cancer, certain heart or respiratory diseases, major surgery, such as hip or knee replacements, advanced age, oral contraceptives or hormone therapy. It is important to consult your healthcare provider about the signs and symptoms associated with DVT. For more information, visit www.preventdvt.org. About DVT Awareness Month DVT Awareness Month is being sponsored by the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) to raise awareness of this serious medical condition among consumers, healthcare professionals, government and public health leaders. The Coalition is comprised of more than 40 representatives from nationally known medical societies, patient advocacy groups and other public health organizations. For more information, visit www.dvt.net or www.preventdvt.org. About Ochsner Health System Ochsner Health System (www.ochsner.org) is a non-profit, academic, multi-specialty, healthcare delivery system dedicated to patient care, research and education. The system includes a total of seven hospitals, a sub-acute facility, and 25 health centers located throughout Southeast Louisiana. Through our unique coordinated system, Ochsner provides healthcare with peace of mind because we put the needs of all patients first. Ochsner employs over 600 physicians in 80 medical specialties and subspecialties and conducts over 700 ongoing clinical research trials annually. Ochsner was ranked #1"Best Place to Work" by New Orleans CityBusiness Magazine in 2005 and 2006 and received the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 12 consecutive years.
###1. U.S. Senate. S. Res. 56. U.S. Library of Congress Website March 2, 2005. 2. Hirsh J, Hoak J. Management of deep-vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. A statement for healthcare professionals from the Council on Thrombosis (in consultation with the Council on Cardiovascular Radiology), American Heart Association. Circulation. 1996;93:2212-2245. 3. Anderson, F A. Jr, A Population-Based Perspective of the Hospital Incidence and Case-Fatality Rates of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism: The Worcester DVT Study. Archives of Internal Medicine 1991; 151:933 (7) 0003-9926. 4. American Cancer Society. Breast Cancer Facts and Figures, 2001-2002. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society 5. Centers for Disease Control Report. HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report 2001. Volume 13, Number 2 6. APHA Deep-Vein Thrombosis Omnibus Survey. Conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide 2002. 7. Zhan, Chunlin, MD, PhD; Miller, Marlene R., MD, MSc. Excess Length of Stay, Charges, and Mortality Attributable to Medical Injuries During Hospitalization. Journal of the American Medical Association 2003;290:1868-1874. US.ENO.06.08.067