Physicians and Doctors

Why is this important for
Physicians and Doctors?

"DVT kills more people every year than AIDS, breast cancer, and motor vehicle accidents combined," says Geno J. Merli, MD, director of internal medicine at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. "Most patients, and even many physicians, don't realize that." (http://www.webmd.com/dvt/features/deep-vein-thrombosis)

DVT is an increasing condition that affects as many as 900,000 people (1 to 2 per 1,000) each year min the United States. Estimates suggest that 60,000 – 100,000 Americans die of DVT/PE each year.

  1. 10 to 30% of people will die within one month of diagnosis
  2. Sudden death is the first symptom in about 25% of people who have a PE

Among people who have had a DVT, one-half will have long-term complications (post-thrombotic syndrome) such as swelling, pain, discoloration, and scaling in the affected limb. One-third (about 33%) of people with DVT/PE will have a recurrence within 10 years.

Approximately 5 to 8% of the U.S. population has one of several genetic risk factors, also known as inherited thrombophilias in which a genetic defect can be identified that increases the risk for thrombosis. (according to http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/data.html )

Need for Prevention at Home

Many factors determine your risk for DVT, but studies show you’re at highest risk five to 10 days after surgery.2 With today’s shorter hospital stays, that’s most likely when you’re recovering at home, away from the watchful eye of your health care providers. Therefore, it’s vital that life-saving DVT prevention doesn’t end at the time of discharge after surgery — but continues at home throughout your most vulnerable days. Your physician can prescribe DVT prevention that you can use at home, including both mechanical and pharmacological prophylaxis.

Who Is at Risk for Deep Vein Thrombosis?

Blood clots can develop for various reasons. They most often occur if your circulation is decreased or slows down in a particular area. Whenblood stops flowing freely, it becomes stagnant and naturally begins to clot.

"There are three classic factors in developing DVT," says Bruce A. Perler, MD, chief of the division of vascular surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. They are:

  1. Prolonged immobility. If you're in a confined area for long periods of time and can't stretch your legs, your circulation can get worse. This is why deep vein thrombosis is more common in people who are stuck in bed or taking long trips. Because DVT often occurs after long plane flights, it is sometimes called "economy class syndrome."
  2. Trauma -- from an accident or surgery. Damage to the tissue can increase the blood's tendency to clot. This can happen after accidents or, more often, after an operation.
  3. Genetic predisposition to clotting. Some people -- although many of them don't know it -- have inherited a higher risk of getting deep vein thrombosis. Their blood is more likely to clot than average. After his death, doctors discovered that Bloom had a genetic blood disorder.

Some diseases, health conditions, habits, and treatments can also increase the risks of getting deep vein thrombosis.They include:

In many people, the risk factors are compounded. For instance, if you have heart disease, you might not get as much exercise as you once did. You become more sedentary and start gaining weight. Combining heart disease, excess weight, and immobility dramatically raises your risk of deep vein thrombosis.

DVT: Symptoms and Warning Signs

The classic symptoms of DVT, which are confined to the affected area, typically the lower leg, include:

  1. Pain
  2. Swelling
  3. Tenderness
  4. Redness or discoloration of the skin

But unfortunately, about half of the time, deep vein thrombosis has no symptoms at all. Or it may have uncommon symptoms. Often, the first symptom is pulmonary embolism, when a blood clot breaks off and moves into the lungs.

Typical symptoms of a pulmonary embolism are:

  1. Shortness of breath
  2. Rapid pulse
  3. Sweating
  4. Feeling of apprehension
  5. Sharp chest pain that worsens when you breathe deeply
  6. Low blood pressure
  7. Unconsciousness
  8. Coughing up blood


When a patient must be readmitted to the hospital because of post-surgical DVT, the results can be devastating for everyone involved. Fact is, nearly 50 percent of all DVT cases happen after a patient is discharged.5 Triple Play VT® reduces this risk to patients — and their providers — by decreasing the likelihood of life-threatening, post-surgical DVT during the vulnerable first week after discharge. Designed to promote the continuum of care from the hospital to home after surgery, Triple Play VT is compact, portable and easy for patients to use. The result is greater compliance, positive patient experiences and better outcomes.

Never Events

Medical errors that should not happen are called “never events.” They not only harm patients, but hospitals as well, resulting in costly fines or loss of reimbursement. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services have deemed DVT a never event. Still, DVT is the leading cause of preventable hospital deaths.6 Research shows one in 100 patients admitted to a hospital dies because of pulmonary embolism (PE), which is a result of DVT.Hospitals and surgical centers can affordably prevent life-threatening DVT never events with Triple Play VT®from Compression Solutions. Using DVT prophylaxis will reduce the incidence of DVT never events during the post-operative period by two-thirds and will prevent death from PE in one patient out of every 200 major operations.

Cost to Prevent vs. Treat

As with most other diseases, preventing DVT is substantially less expensive than treating its consequences. The cost to diagnose and treat DVT and its effects in the United States is estimated to be as much as $23.8 billion per year.9 According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), DVT treatment costs an average of $50,937 per patient.