World Thrombosis Day – October 13th 2023
Healthcare professionals worldwide should be acutely aware of the risk of blood clots in clinical settings. Blood clots, particularly deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), together venous thromboembolism (VTE), pose a significant health threat to patients. These potentially life-threatening conditions can manifest silently and without warning, making vigilance and knowledge crucial. Healthcare providers should recognize the risk factors, which include prolonged immobility, surgery, trauma, cancer, and certain medications, among others. Timely risk assessment, prophylaxis, and early detection are essential components of preventing thrombotic events. Moreover, understanding regional and patient-specific factors that may influence clotting risk is paramount, as individual susceptibility can vary. By staying informed about the latest research, guidelines, and preventive strategies, healthcare professionals can play a pivotal role in reducing the global burden of thrombosis-related morbidity and mortality.
World Thrombosis Day, a global campaign of the ISTH, provides healthcare professionals with up-to-date scientific research, news and clinical recommendations.
I am a vascular surgeon who works with patients that have different types of blood clots. At an early age, I realized that I wanted to be a doctor and it stuck with me throughout my years in school. I have been fortunate to work with many physician role models and mentors. I am very happy with where I ended up as vascular surgeon, who takes care of blood clots in patients. My patients with blood clots are my true motivators to do this work on this subject every day and being a part of caring and treatment teams for improving the health of VTE? DVT/PE patients which is very rewarding.
Blood clots can either be provoked or unprovoked. Provoked blood clots are associated with known risk factors, while unprovoked are those where no obvious risk factor can also be identified. Most blood clots diagnosed are provoked, the commonest cause being recent hospital admission.
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) can affect men and women of all ages, races and ethnicities. People at the highest risk (e.g., people with admitted to hospital, especially those with cancer, having surgery, or with major trauma and/or immobilization) should receive preventative treatments. So people admitted to the hospital should ask about their need for VTE prevention.
Blood clots can affect anyone regardless of location, age, ethnicity or race. The most important thing you can do to protect yourself from a life-threatening blood clot is to learn if you are at risk. Know the signs and symptoms and contact your healthcare professional immediately if needed.
The signs and symptoms of a blood clot, as well as the recommended treatment, hinge on the location within your body where the clot forms and the potential harm it might inflict. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) typically manifests with symptoms such as swelling, pain, warmth, and redness in the affected limb. On the other hand, pulmonary embolism (PE), can present with chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, and in severe cases, it can be life-threatening.
Collectively known as venous thromboembolism (VTE), DVT and PE are conditions in which blood clots develop within veins. While these symptoms may vary, prompt diagnosis and appropriate treatment are vital for preventing complications and ensuring the best possible outcome. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of VTE is crucial, as it empowers individuals to seek medical attention promptly, potentially saving lives.
Prompt treatment may be life-saving Treatment of blood clots can differ by the patient but typically includes blood-thinning medication to prevent new clots from forming. There are three main treatment goals. 1). Prevent the clot from getting bigger. 2). Prevent the clot from breaking loose and traveling to the lungs. 3). Reduce the chances of reoccurrence. Please talk to your healthcare professional about the best treatment plan for your unique health needs. For an overview of treatment options, continue reading below.
Dr Pinjala Rama Krishna
Vascular Surgeon, Apollo Hospitals,
Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad.