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World Thrombosis Day

On October 13th, countries from around the world observe World Thrombosis Day, with the common goal of increasing global awareness of thrombosis. The purpose of the day is to highlight the causes, risk factors, signs and symptoms of thrombosis as well as provide an opportunity to discuss evidence based prevention and treatment strategies (1).

Thrombosis is defined as ‘the formation of a blood clot in a vessel’. Clots can slow and block normal blood flow in blood vessels. Some clots can break loose and travel to an organ causing events such as heart attacks, thromboembolic strokes and venous thromboembolisms (VTEs) (1).

VTE is a term used to identify a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), Pulmonary Embolism (PE) or both. As the name suggests, a deep vein thrombosis is a clot that forms in a deep vein, usually in the leg, groin or arm. A PE is the result of a DVT clot that breaks loose from the wall of a vein and travels into the lungs, occluding some or all of the blood supply, which can be fatal (1).

VTEs are dangerous and potentially deadly and can affect people of all ages, races, ethnicities and genders. They are often underdiagnosed and serious but are preventable if risk factors are identified early and prevention strategies are started (3).

Early recognition of DVT and PE is essential to support early intervention and treatment for optimal outcomes. These are life-threatening conditions that require immediate medical attention. (2).

Signs and symptoms of a DVT:

  • pain or tenderness often starting in the calf
  • swelling extending into the ankle and foot
  • increased redness or discoloration along with warmth

Signs and symptoms of a PE:

  • unexplained shortness of breath
  • rapid respiration and heart rate
  • chest pain that may worsen with deep breaths
  • light headedness or fainting

Thrombosis Canada identifies the top risk factors for thrombosis as: “hospitalization, surgery, cancer, immobility, age 60+, personal/family history and using estrogen-based medications” (4).  Discuss your risk factors with your health home team.

World Thrombosis Day aims to “empower individuals to talk with their health care professionals about their risk and appropriate prevention”. To learn more or get involved, you can visit www.worldthrombosisday.org.

 

Sources

  1. www.worldthrombosisday.org
  2. Open Your Eyes to Thrombosis, International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostatis, Inc, worldthrombosisday.org, 2022
  3. https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/facts.html
  4. www.thrombosiscanada.ca

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