Melanie Bloom, wife of former NBC Correspondent David Bloom, Participates in Public Seminar to Discuss the Importance of Education about DVT
NEW ORLEANS - Five years ago, NBC Correspondent David Bloom died from DVT, a fatal blood clot, while traveling long distances in a military tank covering the Iraqi War. This tragic death brought the preventable dangers of DVT into the public eye. On Monday, March 10, 2008, Ochsner and the Coalition to Prevent DVT will host a free public seminar with Melanie Bloom, David's widow from 12:00pm-1:00pm, at 1514 Jefferson Highway - Monroe Hall.
"Deep-vein Thrombosis sounds complicated, but it's simply a blood clot, or thrombosis, that forms in the deep veins of the leg. DVT can be life threatening if it travels to the lung and becomes a pulmonary embolism and blocks circulation," explains Dr. Steve Deitelzweig, MD, Vice President of Medical Affairs and Chairman of Hospital Medicine at Ochsner. Every year, up to two million people in the U.S. suffer from DVT and approximately 600,000 Americans are hospitalized for DVT and its primary complication, pulmonary embolism (PE). Complications from blood clots (DVT) kill more Americans annually than breast cancer and AIDS combined.
"We want people to know that the risks associated with blood clots (DVT and PE) can be reduced exponentially if they just learn the symptoms and communicate with their doctor and by joining with the Coalition and Melanie we hope to get this message across to our community," explains Karen Rice, RN, Program Director for Nursing Research at Ochsner. "Since the initiation of March as DVT Awareness Month, we've made great strides, but we need more attention to signs and symptoms of DVT, which include:
- Swelling and tenderness
- Discoloration or redness in the affected area
- Skin that is warm to the touch
Also, signs and symptoms of PE include:
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain with inspiration
- Coughing up blood
While certain individuals may be more at risk for developing blood clots (DVT), it can occur in anyone. The blood clot that traveled to the lung (PE) that ended David Bloom's life was partly due to the long hours he spent cramped in the army vehicle while reporting. "Sitting in prone positions for extended periods of time can restrict circulation and potentially lead to clots," explains Debbie Simonson, Director of Pharmacy at Ochsner.
Anyone traveling long distances for vacation or business, and individuals with the following conditions are at an increased risk for DVT:
65+ years old
|Restricted mobility: travel or illness
Predisposition to clotting
Taking birth control pills
Hormone Replacement Therapy
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 to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis is funded by Sanofi-Aventis U.S. LLC.
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 seven hospitals and 33 health centers located throughout Southeast Louisiana. Ochsner employs over 600 physicians in 80 medical specialties and subspecialties and 450 clinical research trials annually. Ochsner was ranked one of the "Best Places to Work" by New Orleans CityBusiness in 2005, 2006 and 2007 and received the Consumer Choice for Healthcare in New Orleans for 12 consecutive years. Ochsner was ranked as "Best" Hospital by U.S. News and World Report in July 2007. Ochsner has over 10,000 employees system-wide.
For more information, visit www.preventdvt.org.