March 31st, 2011

Raising Awareness of Blood Clot Risk

From Shaun Mickus, Director, Product Communication, Internal Medicine, Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Services

It is estimated that every minute of the year, at least one person in the U.S. develops a Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), an unwanted blood clot in a deep vein (usually in the leg). If left untreated, part of a DVT can break off and form a pulmonary embolism (PE) – an unwanted blood clot that travels to the lungs. At least every five minutes, someone dies from a PE. 

DVTs can affect people of any age and health status, and this March marks the sixth annual DVT Awareness Month. Public and health care professional awareness of DVTs, including signs and symptoms, has increased over the years, yet more education about clots and risk factors is needed.

To coincide with DVT Awareness Month, Ortho-McNeil, Division of Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. – the Johnson & Johnson company that I work for – is posting a five-part “Healthy Body, Healthy Mind’ video series on the Johnson & Johnson Health Channel on YouTube to educate about the prevalence, signs and symptoms, risk factors, prevention and diagnosis of DVTs.

The DVT videos feature several stories of people who have been impacted by a DVT, including a 25-year-old Brooklyn, N.Y. woman; a 40-year-old mother from Chapel Hill, N.C., and a 67-year-old man looking forward to retirement. Their stories highlight just how common DVTs are and the importance of knowing the signs, symptoms and risk factors. 

For those who are interested in more information about DVT, I suggest you visit websites created by the National Blood Clot Alliance and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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