Today: May 30 , 2020

World Thrombosis Day

13 October 2016

You may not know this, but blood clots in the legs and lungs (called ‘VTE’) is the number three cardiovascular killer globally, and is the leading cause of premature death and disability in hospitals.

"One in four deaths worldwide is related to thrombosis." Yet, VTE is a largely preventable disease, reports the World Thrombosis Day website.

Heart attacks and strokes are the world’s top two cardiovascular killers and receive a lot of global attention. But the third most prevalent killer, venous thromboembolism, (VTE) is frequently overlooked and unaddressed by the public, according to a global scientific review in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis (JTH).

Here are some quick facts:

VTE crosses all socio-economic classes, overall incidence ranges from .75-2.7 cases per 1,000 people.

VTE should be given higher priority in global disease surveillance

VTE is the leading cause of premature death and disability among the causes of hospital-associated adverse events as evaluated by the World Health Organization patient safety program

VTE is largely preventable, and health-care providers and systems must be diligent about taking preventative measures against VTE. At the same time, the public needs to be aware and alert to the symptoms of this disease.

The American Heart Association describes the symptoms here:

DVT [deep vein thrombosis] mainly affects the large veins in the lower leg and thigh, almost always on one side of the body. The clot can block blood flow and cause:

  • Changes in skin color (redness)
  • Leg pain or tenderness, especially in the calf
  • Leg swelling (edema)
  • Skin that feels warm to the touch

PE, or pulmonary embolism, can be fatal and occurs when the DVT breaks free from a vein wall and blocks some or all of the blood supply to the lungs, causing: 

  • Unexplained shortness of breath
  • Rapid breathing
  • Chest pain (may be worse upon deep breath)
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Light headedness or passing out

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Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She will be leaving for new adventures on May 15, 2020.