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


West Penn Hospital Welcomes Melanie Bloom, National Spokesperson on Risks of Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT), to May 23 Event

Tuesday, May 5th, 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, will speak 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. From 350,000 to 600,000 Americans suffer from DVT each year and approximately 100,000 deaths may be directly or indirectly related to this disease, according to the U.S. Surgeon General. While some individuals are at increased risk of developing DVT, it can happen to almost anyone.

Ms. Bloom’s appearance will highlight a morning of DVT-related events at West Penn Hospital. She will speak at 10 a.m. in the hospital’s Conference Center, with continental breakfast beginning at 9 a.m.

After Ms. Bloom’s talk, West Penn Hospital hematologist Margaret Kennedy, MD, will lead further discussion about DVT, and a pharmacist will discuss the medication Coumadin (warfarin). Dr. Kennedy is Medical Director of the Anticoagulation Management Center at West Penn Hospital and Associate Director of the hospital’s Hemostasis and Thrombosis Laboratory.

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

From 9 a.m. to noon on May 23, WPH will also host the also offer 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. Members of the public are invited to take a computerized test that will assess their risk of having or developing DVT.

The RV will be parked near the hospital’s South Millvale Avenue entrance, in Pittsburgh’s Bloomfield neighborhood. From 3 to 5 p.m. the RV will be at Pittsburgh Mills mall.

“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.

The public is invited to all of the day’s events. For more information about Ms. Bloom’s talk, call (412) DOCTORS (362-8677.)


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