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Perspectives on Deep Vein Thrombosis

Broadcast Date: January 10, 2007 (1 hour, 30 minutes)

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This program was presented at the 134th Annual Meeting of the American Public Health Association.

Program Overview

Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a common but serious medical condition that 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. The condition may result in health complications, such as a Pulmonary Embolism (PE) and even death if not diagnosed and treated effectively. Certain individuals may be at increased risk for developing DVT, although DVT can occur in almost anyone.

Symptoms of DVT may include pain, swelling, tenderness, discoloration or redness of the affected area, and skin that is warm to the touch. However, as many as half of all DVT episodes produce minimal symptoms or are completely "silent." Because a number of other conditions, including muscle strains, skin infections, and phlebitis (inflammation of veins) display symptoms similar to those of DVT, the condition may be difficult to diagnose without specific tests. According to the American Heart Association, DVT occurs in approximately two million people and up to 600,000 are hospitalized in the U.S. each year. Fatal PE may be the most common preventable cause of hospital death in the United States. Only one-third of hospitalized patients with risk factors for blood clots received preventive treatment, according to a U.S. multi-center study. Without preventive treatment, up to 60 percent of patients who undergo total hip replacement surgery may develop DVT.


Melanie Bloom
National DVT Patient Spokesperson
Coalition to Prevent DVT
Washington, DC

Geno Merli, MD, FACP
School of Medicine
Thomas Jefferson University
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Rita Munley Gallagher, PhD, RN
Department of Nursing Practice and Policy
American Nurses Association
Washington, DC

Target Audience

Health and public health professionals interested in population based interprofessional approaches to disease prevention, interprofessional/interorganizational coalition-building, professionals interested in social marketing to provide information and behavior change strategies to the general population and health clinicians and administrators interested in DVT, PE, and other circulatory diseases.

Contact Hours

None for this program.

Contact for Technical Assistance

334-206-5618 or email ALPHTN

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