More than half-million people a year hospitalized due to DVT
For Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn, recognizing the dangers of Deep-Vein Thrombosis is very personal. Dunn sponsored today’s Council proclamation recognizing March 2012 as Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month in King County in memory of his mother, Congresswoman Jennifer Dunn, who died in 2007 from a pulmonary embolism caused by DVT.
“DVT awareness continues to grow in the public realm, but more needs to be done so people understand the signs and symptoms of DVT and can reduce their risk,” said Dunn. “In honor of my mother, I have worked across the country to raise awareness of this serious, yet preventable, condition.”
DVT is a blood clot that forms inside a deep vein, most often in the lower leg. Once formed, a blood clot can break off and if not treated immediately has the potential to move into the lungs and block circulation, creating a life-threatening condition – pulmonary embolism, or PE. This medical condition is frequently fatal.
Dr. Roger Stark, healthcare analyst with the Washington Policy Center and Dr. Anneliese Schleyer, Associate Medical Doctor at Harborview Medical Center and DVT expert accepted the proclamation from Dunn. The proclamation supports a national campaign to build awareness of DVT and to encourage the public to undergo screening for this health condition.
Doctors Stark and Schleyer spoke about the warning signs of DVT and the efforts to prevent DVT deaths. According to the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis, approximately 2 million Americans are affected by DVT annually. Approximately 600,000 Americans are hospitalized every year for DVT and pulmonary embolisms, and up to 300,000 Americans lose their lives to DVT-caused pulmonary embolisms annually.
“Simple steps can ensure that people know the signs of DVT,” said Dunn. “Those signs and understanding what needs to be done can literally save lives.”
WHEREAS, deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) is the formation of a blood clot (thrombus) in a deep vein, usually in the legs or pelvic area, that partially or completely blocks circulation; and
WHEREAS, if neglected, there is a significant risk of the clot traveling to the lungs and causing a pulmonary embolism (PE); and
WHEREAS, DVT is experienced by approximately two million Americans every year; 600,000 Americans are hospitalized for DVT and PE every year; and 300,000 Americans lose their lives to DVT-caused pulmonary embolisms annually; and
WHEREAS, risk factors can include a hereditary predisposition, as well as lack of mobility, even temporarily, such as one might experience on a long flight; and
WHEREAS, fatal pulmonary embolisms may be the most preventable cause of hospital deaths in the United States; and
WHEREAS, a healthy lifestyle, awareness, and preventive measures are the first steps toward dramatically reducing the number of lost lives; and
WHEREAS, the inaugural DVT Awareness Month, sponsored by the national Coalition to Prevent DVT, took place in March
of 2004, and the following year, the U.S. Senate unanimously declared March “DVT Awareness Month”;
NOW, THEREFORE, we, the Metropolitan King County Council, hereby proclaim March 2012 as
DEEP-VEIN THROMBOSIS AWARENESS MONTH
in King County and thank the Coalition to Prevent Deep-Vein Thrombosis for establishing this month of awareness.
DATED this nineteenth day of March, 2012.
Members join (l-r) Dr. Roger Stark, with the Washington Policy Center, Dr. Anneliese Schleyer, Associate Medical Doctor at Harborview Medical Center and Dr. David Hadley, President of the Harborview Medical Center Board of Trustees. The Council declared March 2012 Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month in King County.