Sunday, February 12, 2012

Venous Thromboembolism

Venous thromboembolism causes substantial disability and death. The incidence of deep venous thrombosis (DVT) is about 1 per 1000 person years. The most serious and potentially preventable complication, pulmonary embolus, kills an estimated 50,000 Americans each  year. Venous stasis secondary to chronic valvular incompetence, of- ten a consequence of venous thrombosis, causes varying degrees of pain, edema, and ulceration. The changing demographic patterns, particularly the aging of society, are increasing the risk of venous thromboembolism and the importance of prevention. Recent identificationof inherited defects causing thrombosis (inherited thrombophilias) allows improved prevention through identification of individuals at high risk. The knowledge and tools for effective prevention and treatment are available but currently underused.
Early identification, office-based diagnostic tests, safer treatments, and targeted education programs for physicians may offer the chance to reduce the incidence of venous thrombosis and associated morbidity.


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