Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

More Than 100,000 Americans Die Annually as a Result of Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) and Pulmonary Embolism

March 13, 2013

The CHEST Foundation, Through its OneBreath Campaign Unveils kNOw DVT as Part of March DVT Awareness Month

NORTHBROOK, Ill., March 13, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — More than 900,000 Americans each year have a deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism episode which can result in damage to their lungs or other organs and can be fatal. The CHEST Foundation, as part of its OneBreath Initiative, announced the launch of kNOw DVT, a month-long awareness effort that features a series of online resources developed by the American College of Chest Physicians to help educate consumers affected by DVT or who are looking to learn more.

Deep vein thrombosis, more commonly referred to as DVT, is a blood clot that forms inside a vein and blocks the flow of blood. In the most serious cases, DVT can lead to a pulmonary embolism, or PE, when part of the blood clot breaks loose and travels through the bloodstream to the lungs. There, the clot can block a lung artery, causing damage to the lungs or other organs from lack of oxygen.

“DVT can strike anyone, so it’s important to be aware of potential risk factors and warning signs,” said Lisa K. Moores, MD, FCCP. “With the help of our member physicians, experts in the treatment of pulmonary and cardiovascular conditions, as well as trusted partners, we have been able to assemble a comprehensive DVT resource based on the most advanced evidence-based clinical standards of care.”

Many factors can increase risk for developing DVT, including:

  • Sitting for long periods of time, such as during long-distance travel or prolonged bed rest
  • Inheriting a blood clotting disorder
  • Injury or surgery
  • Pregnancy
  • Estrogen use, including the use of oral contraceptives (birth control)
  • Cancer
  • Advanced age
  • Obesity
  • A history of DVT or PE

A comprehensive online resource has been created as part of kNOw DVT and can be found at www.onebreath.org.

The effort, made possible by funding from Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., is being conducted in partnership with the CHEST Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians, as part of its OneBreath initiative. Through OneBreath, the Foundation aims to improve lung and heart health by providing valuable prevention resources, raising public awareness, and encouraging healthy behaviors.

While anyone can be affected by DVT, approximately one-half of all blood clots occur in people who have illnesses, such as cancer, or who are recovering from surgery or a serious accident. Women are also at increased risk due to pregnancy and vascular side effects of contraceptives and other medications. Using relatively simple preventive measures or by recognizing signs of leg clots or lung clots, more serious outcomes can generally be prevented.

Some practices that may be beneficial in preventing DVT include:

  • Increasing leg muscle activity during long periods of sitting to improve blood flow in the legs. This may include walking around an airline cabin or exercising your lower legs and ankles while seated in a car or train.
  • Drinking adequate fluids, and avoiding alcohol and caffeine, may also help by preventing dehydration.
  • Loose-fitting clothing may be beneficial in avoiding constriction of veins.
  • Some recommend taking short naps, instead of long ones, to avoid prolonged inactivity.
  • Maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen, as well as avoiding smoking can be beneficial to overall cardiovascular health

For more on the prevention, detection and possible risk factors for DVT, please visit www.OneBreath.org for the complete list of resources.

About The CHEST Foundation and the American College of Chest Physicians
As the philanthropic arm of the American College of Chest Physicians (ACCP), The CHEST Foundation has been involved with heart and lung health initiatives, such as DVT awareness and tobacco prevention and cessation efforts, since its inception in 1996. Through its OneBreath initiative, The Foundation aims to improve lung and heart health by providing valuable prevention resources, raising public awareness, and encouraging healthy behaviors.

ACCP is a global community of clinicians and allied health professionals working in pulmonary, critical care, and sleep medicine. ACCP is publisher of the CHEST Journal and is recognized as a trusted provider of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines and as a resource for advanced training through conferences and innovative online courses. Headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois, ACCP represents more than 18,700 members from more than 100 countries.

SOURCE American College of Chest Physicians

Source: PR Newswire