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Format: 04/25/2014
Format: 04/25/2014

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Melanie Bloom, National Spokesperson on Risks of Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT), speaks at West Penn Hospital

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Melanie Bloom, whose husband David died of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) at age 39 while covering the war in Iraq as an NBC News correspondent, spoke about DVT and her personal experience Saturday, May 23, at West Penn Hospital.

DVT is a blood clot that forms inside a deep vein, most often in the lower leg. Up to 2 million Americans suffer from DVT each year and approximately 300,000 die from a related complication called pulmonary embolism (PE). While some individuals are at increased risk of developing DVT, it can happen to almost anyone.

Ms. Bloom’s highlighted a morning of DVT-related events at West Penn Hospital.

After Ms. Bloom’s talk, West Penn hematologist Margaret Kennedy, MD, led further discussion about DVT. Dr. Kennedy is Medical Director of the Anticoagulation Management Center at West Penn and Associate Director of the hospital’s Hemostasis and Thrombosis Laboratory.

Attendees of the program were afforded demonstrations of venous Doppler technology, which can be used to detect DVT.

WPH also hosted the Driving to Reduce the Risks of DVT RV Tour, an educational national RV campaign that promotes the importance of DVT screening and risk assessment to help improve patient safety.

“We are delighted to welcome Melanie Bloom to West Penn Hospital, and happy to have the opportunity to spread the word about DVT, its risk factors and symptoms to the Pittsburgh community,” Dr. Kennedy said. “The incidence of DVT can be reduced if patients and clinicians recognize the risk factors, warning signs and symptoms.”

Following her husband’s death, Ms. Bloom learned more about DVT and PE, and became national spokesperson for the Coalition to Prevent DVT. By telling David’s story, her ongoing hope is that she can continue to raise public awareness of this silent, serious medical condition.

She has received more than 15,000 letters and emails of support, many from people who say David’s death made them more aware of their own risk factors for DVT. She has participated in national media campaigns, spoken at hospitals and medical conferences nationwide, and recently participated in the announcement of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action, which deems DVT a national public health priority.

 

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