Deep-Vein Thrombosis Prevention

The death of NBC correspondent David Bloom brought a lot of attention to deep-vein thrombosis. His widow, Melanie Bloom, is working to get the word out that DVT is preventable. Houston Public Radio's Capella Tucker reports.

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DVT is when a blood clot forms in a deep vein, usually in the legs. Parts of the clot can break off and travel to the heart. That's what happened to David Bloom while in Iraq.

"What I learned after he passed away is that DVT can be prevented, that more people die from this than from AIDS and breast cancer combined."

Melanie Bloom's latest travels brought her to MD Anderson Cancer Center. Cancer patients are at an increase risk for DVT. Bloom is hoping doctors won't forget about the other threats as they help the patients battle cancer.

"To put it on the forefront of physicians minds because they are focused on the more obvious condition the patient is undergoing, but what we know about DVT is that it can slip in the back door."

MD Anderson General Internal Medicine Chair Carmen Escalante says

"Cancer patients are at substantially increased risk because of numerous factors including their malignancies, the types of treatments and interventions and a lot of times they are at bed rests, not as active or mobile, numerous factors."

The coalition to prevent DVT has a risk assessment tool that can be found at kuhf.org. Capella Tucker, Houston Public Radio News.

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