Tarrytown, NY – September 15, 2008 – The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) today praised Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson, MD, MPH for issuing an historic “Call to Action” to prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).
RADM Galson presented the Call to Action at the Grand Hyatt in Washington DC this morning. Click here to to read the full text of the call to action. Dr. Galson called for “the development of a coordinated strategy to improve awareness of DVT and PE,” pointing out that blood clots “contribute to at least 100,000 deaths each year.”
“Today will be forever remembered as the turning point in the battle against blood clots (DVT/PE).” Said NBCA President Randy Fenninger. “NBCA is committed to working aggressively to build on the momentum of this important “Call to Action”.
NBCA is executing a strategic plan of awareness and education (consumers, patients and health professionals), outreach, advocacy and support towards achieving the goals of the “Call to Action”.
Blood Clots are far more frequent than most people understand because they are often secondary to other other underlying illnesses or conditions. For example, some of those most vulnerable to DVT/PEs include people being hospitalized, undergoing major surgery (e.g. hip or knee replacement) or living in nursing homes. Others at risk include people with cancer, travelers on long trips (e.g. train, airplane), older age, obesity, women on hormone replacement therapy, birth control (pills, patch, ring) or pregnancy/recently gave birth or genetic/hereditary or acquired blood clotting disorder.
“NBCA is so pleased that Acting Surgeon General Galson was able to coordinate the different agencies of the Public Health Service to support this landmark report” said NBCA Vice President Lori Preston. “ As patients, we at NBCA are so proud that NBCA lay and medical leadership were able to contribute to the Surgeon General’s report” said Preston who attended today’s briefing with Mr. Fenninger.
NBCA Medical Director Stephan Moll, MD said “the CTA underscores the public health urgency of preventing the hundreds of thousands of deaths and DVT / PEs that occur each year.”
In cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), NBCA will be convening “Stop The Clot Forums” for patient and consumer education:
- October 4 – Minneapolis, MN
- October 18 – Baltimore, MD (call 914.220.5040).
- November 22 – Raleigh-Durham (call 914.220.5040)
There have been major events in the past year in the battle against blood clots. CDC has designated thrombosis as a priority, increasing surveillance of DVT/PE in the US and entering into a cooperative agreement with NBCA to educate patients, the public and healthcare professionals. In August, The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued final regulations that recognizes DVT/PE as Hospital Acquired Conditions (HAC) for patients undergoing hip and knee replacement surgery because, with proper prophylaxis, DVT/PE can be prevented most of the time. Click here for FAQs about the Surgeon General’s call to action.