Blood Clot Awareness Month

By: Alere Staff
Publication Date: Sat, 03/01/2014

National Heart Month in February ends as March takes over and Blood Clot Awareness Month begins. Blood clots affect young or old, male or female. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 300,000 to 600,000 people are affected with Blood Clots annually.1 Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) is a common type of clot that more commonly manifests in the legs, but can also be found in the pelvis, arms, or large veins in the body2, followed by Pulmonary Embolism (PE) blood clot in the lungs. PE is the type of clot that usually begins somewhere else in the body and travels and lodges in the lungs, and blocks blood flow.

The National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) was just awarded two grants from the CDC allocating $1.35 million to help promote awareness of this serious medical condition to the public, Patient and healthcare populations. Blood clots kill nearly 60,000 -100,000 Americans every year.3 The NBCA’s goal is to provide a broader forum for prevention and education to the American population.

Check out stoptheclot.org asan excellent resource to learn about blood clots. The organization has selected Minnesota as their pilot state for developing Stop the Clot Forums, Stop the Clot Support Groups, and a regional chapter to promote community based education and awareness. Minneapolis-St. Paul is the first City that was selected to host a regional chapter for community awareness.

Brian Vickers, NASCAR driver, developed blood clots in 2010, which made him miss most of the racing season. Since then, for every lap he leads during March, in either the Nationwide or Sprint Cup Series, he donates $10.00 per lap, with a minimum $2000.00 donation to Clot Connect. He worked with physicians at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Clot Connect (clotconnect.org) during his treatment. He also has encouraged his friends, teammates, fans, and various organizations to become involved and champion his cause.4

Become a champion in prevention of blood clots! Follow these tips provided by the CDC:3

  • If you’re at risk for DVT, consider using graduated compression stockings
  • When sitting for long periods of time, such as when traveling for more than four hours:
    • Get up and walk around every 2 to 3 hours.
    • Exercise your legs while you’re sitting by:
      • Raising and lowering your heels while keeping your toes on the floor
      • Raising and lowering your toes while keeping your heels on the floor
      • Tightening and releasing your leg muscles

You can reduce your risk by maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding a sedentary lifestyle, and following your doctor's recommendations based on your individual risk factors.3

  1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deep Vein Thrombosis (A Blood Clot Forming in a Vein). Page updated March 4, 2013. Page accessed February 10, 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/features/dvt/.
  2. American Society of Hematology. March is DVT Awareness Month. Page updated March 1, 2011. Page accessed February 10, 2014. http://www.hematology.org/News/2011/6473.aspx.
  3. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) / Pulmonary Embolism (PE) — Blood Clot Forming in a Vein: Data & Statistics. Page updated June 8, 2012. Page accessed February 10, 2014. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/data.html.
  4. National Blood Clot Alliance. NBCA Announces Two Events for March – Blood Clot Awareness Month. Pages accessed February 10, 2014. http://www.stoptheclot.org/news/article212.htm. http://www.stoptheclot.org/learn_more/learn_more.htm#.UXEGaqJ_Pzw. http://www.stoptheclot.org/news/article115.htm.