FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
C-L-O-T-S National Awareness Campaign Highlights
Urgent Warning Signs of Blood Clots that People Need to Know
March is Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) Awareness Month, yet:
- Only 43 per cent of Canadians are aware of DVT – significantly below other conditions including high blood pressure, heart attack and stroke
- Only 25 per cent of Canadians are concerned about DVT even though it can kill quickly
- 79 per cent of Canadians don’t know what a blood clot in the leg (DVT) would feel like
- Most people think inactivity is the biggest risk factor for DVT, when in fact it is surgery, cancer and hospitalization
Toronto, Ontario (March 1, 2019) – You’ve just returned home following hospitalization for surgery, when you notice your leg is swollen, and it is warm and sensitive to touch. Your initial thoughts are you bumped it in an unfamiliar space, or worse, it’s an infection. But do you consider the possibility of a blood clot?
If you are like the majority of Canadians, you don’t know a lot about Thrombosis (or blood clots). This lack of knowledge is the impetus behind the new “C-L-O-T-S” campaign to help people quickly recognize if they are experiencing a blood clot and seek appropriate medical attention.
The results of the #KNOWTHROMBOSIS Survey, commissioned by Thrombosis Canada last Fall, showed most Canadians are not aware of the warning signs associated with blood clots, and that they are preventable. Thrombosis is the underlying cause of the top three cardiovascular killers: heart attack, stroke and venous thromboembolism (VTE).
“The good news about blood clots is that they can be prevented – but the key to prevention is knowing what to look for and recognizing what an emerging blood clot may feel like,” said Agnes Lee, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, Medical Director, Thrombosis Program, UBC and Vancouver Coastal Health. “The C-L-O-T-S campaign is based on an acronym that offers easy-to-understand warning signs for blood clots and simple instructions to take action.”
With visual tools, videos and social media, the C-L-O-T-S campaign highlights the most common symptoms that people with a blood clot may experience:
- Chest Pain
- Out of breath
- Leg Tenderness
- Leg Swelling
“From our findings, we’re buoyed by the fact that 86% of Canadians know that blood clots can be fatal, yet oddly, less than a third (31 per cent) are very concerned about them,” said Dr. Lee. “People need to pay attention to how they are feeling and know that chest pain, feeling light headed, being out of breath, and feeling tenderness or swelling in the leg are concerning and are key signs you may have a serious blood clot.”
Understanding the types of blood clots
Venous thromboembolism (or vein blood clots) occurs when a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the leg travels to the lungs becoming a potentially deadly pulmonary embolism (PE). VTE is a significant public health problem, affecting about 100,000 Canadians and causing 10,000 deaths each year. Annually, VTE causes more deaths in Canada than breast cancer, HIV and motor vehicle accidents combined.
“Unfortunately, our data shows 60 per cent of Canadians think blood clots can’t be prevented or are unsure if blood clots can be prevented,” said Dr. Deborah Siegal, Assistant Professor, Division of Hematology and Thromboembolism, Department of Medicine at McMaster University, Hamilton.
“As medical professionals, we saw the need to provide tools to increase public understanding about Thrombosis. By outlining the key warning signs through the C-L-O-T-S campaign, we’re hoping Canadians will recognize these symptoms on their own (or combined) and see them as a ‘wake-up call’ to seek medical attention.”
Adds Dr. Lee, “If you start experiencing any or all of the warning signs, do not ignore them – especially if you have multiple symptoms. As with many illnesses, the sooner you seek medical help, the better your outcome will be.”
Thrombosis Canada comprises a membership that includes the most eminent and internationally recognized thrombosis experts globally. Members have made many significant contributions to the body of knowledge in vascular medicine and disseminated that knowledge through hundreds of peer-reviewed publications, as well leading the development of international clinical practice guidelines.
To donate to support education and awareness efforts on Thrombosis and help to reduce the deaths due to VTE visit https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/35784
Thrombosis Canada acknowledges Leo Pharma for their support of this awareness campaign.
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Medical experts are available in British Columbia and Ontario. To arrange an interview, contact:
Dianna Eakins on behalf of Thrombosis Canada