National Blood Clot Alliance Community Urges Congress to Appropriate Dedicated Funding to Raise Awareness and Prevent Deadly Blood Clots
WASHINGTON – Blood Clot Awareness Month concluded last week as patients, caregivers, patient advocates, and health care providers from across the country joined forces on Capitol Hill urging Congress to prioritize life-saving blood clot awareness and educational funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the FY 24 federal budget.
This funding would be used for a first of its kind comprehensive, national program dedicated to raising awareness of blood clots across the general public as well as to educate healthcare providers about the risks, signs, symptoms, prevention, and treatment of blood clots.
According to the CDC, 900,000 Americans are diagnosed with a blood clot every year, resulting in a devastating 100,000 premature and often preventable deaths. This is more than HIV, breast cancer, and car accidents combined. However, fewer than six percent of Americans know what a blood clot is and how it can be prevented. One person dies of a blood clot every six minutes in this country.
“Appropriating $5 million to the CDC’s Public Health Approach to Blood Disorders will help tackle this public health crisis that currently costs our nation an estimated $10 billion each year,” said Leslie Lake, volunteer president of the National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) and a blood clot survivor.
Among the participants was 3X Olympic medalist swimmer, Katie Hoff, who was forced into early retirement when she developed a blood clot in her lung (pulmonary embolism) while training for the 2016 Olympic Games.
“It took seven weeks for me to receive a proper diagnosis,” said Hoff. “Making sure this doesn’t happen to anyone else has given me new purpose.”
Following the meetings, a reception was held to honor both Rep. Michael Burgess (R-TX 26) and Rep. Paul Tonko (D-NY20) for their extraordinary support in raising blood clot awareness. NBCA also bestowed upon Dr. Rushad Patell the first annual Jennifer Luft Emerging VTE Clinician Research Award. Jennifer Luft suffered a pulmonary embolism at age 23 and passed away from it in 2022.
Dr. Patell, who serves as co-chair of NBCA’s Council of Emerging Researchers in Thrombosis (CERT) and is a hematologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, was deeply touched by this recognition.
“I became a doctor to help patients. So, to be recognized and honored by the patient community and the Luft family in this way is incredibly rewarding,” said Patell.
“The time has come for Congress to finally address this public health crisis called blood clots. NBCA and the blood clot community urge Congress to provide funding to the CDC for a comprehensive, national program in the FY24 federal budget, said Lake. It is time to put an end to the 100,000 deaths each year due to blood clots. Together we can Stop the Clot®.”
The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) is the leading nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis, and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. For information visit www.stoptheclot.org.
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