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What is venous thromboembolism, which “kills” more people every year? Can we prevent it? – Marseille News

What is venous thromboembolism, which “kills” more people every year? Can we prevent it? – Marseille News
What is venous thromboembolism, which “kills” more people every year? Can we prevent it? – Marseille News

10/13/2021 at 11:32 am CEST

Every minute a person is diagnosed with thrombosis in the world. Every 6 minutes another person dies from this disease.

This pathology represents one in four deaths that occur in the world. In addition, during the pandemic, it had a great impact on the population with the arrival of COVID-19.

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The coronavirus, which has animated most conversations since its appearance, has raised the profile of thrombosis a little more, since the virus itself virus this can cause thrombotic images.

Added to this was containment, a measure that attempted to contain COVID-19, but which prompted many citizens to spend long periods of time sitting in front of the television or computer.

This has led to an increase in cases of vascular thromboembolism in young people without a prior risk factor and, therefore, concern among experts.

But despite all this, it remains a pathology unknown to the population, as underlined by the Spanish Society of Hematology and Hemotherapy (SEHH).

“Venous thromboembolism is responsible for more deaths each year than the combination of breast cancer, VIH and traffic accidents, data that many people do not know and that is why we want to stress the importance of prevention, as in many diseases, ”explains the doctor. Joan Carles Reverter, President of SETH.

Symptoms of venous thromboembolism

Venous thromboembolism occurs when a blood clot forms in the veins. Among the alarming symptoms they cause, specialists point out:

Pain in the affected limb Swelling of the affected area (edema) Rise in temperature in the affected limb Heaviness in the area

When the clot passes through the bloodstream to the lungs, it produces what is called a pulmonary embolism, the symptoms of which are:

Difficulty in breathing. Breathing deeply causes pain. Rapid breathing. Increased heart rate.

Hospitalization and thrombosis

Up to 60% of cases of venous thromboembolism occur during or after hospitalization.

This is why the president of the SETH warns on the importance that “both professionals and patients know how to recognize the symptoms of the disease to draw attention to the diagnosis and start treatment quickly and avoid complications”.

In addition, specifies the expert, VTE “is a major cause of loss of years of life adjusted for quality (Quality Adjusted Life Year in English terminology), much more than other diseases such as hospital pneumonia or sepsis. and adverse drug reactions ”.

Prevent VTE during hospitalization

VTE is a major cause of death that can be prevented in hospitals if appropriate preventive measures (thromboprophylaxis) are implemented.

As Dr Reverter points out, “Numerous studies have shown that the use of anticoagulant drugs, mainly subcutaneous low molecular weight heparins and direct oral anticoagulants, allows a very significant reduction in thrombotic events, especially in patients. patients hospitalized due to surgery ”.

In addition, pharmacological measures “must be accompanied by other physical measures, such as early mobilization and the use of elastic stockings. The thromboprophylaxis strategy must be individualized taking into account the characteristics of the patient and his bleeding risk, ”he adds.

For the president of the SETH, “there is not enough knowledge in the general population about this disease. In surveys conducted, awareness of the problem of VTE is much lower than that of other diseases, such as myocardial infarction, stroke, hypertension, breast cancer, prostate cancer and AIDS. In addition, less than half of adults know that thrombosis is preventable.

Risk factors

Venous thromboembolism can affect people of all ages, races and ethnicities, and occurs in both men and women. Certain factors and situations can increase the risk of developing a life-threatening clot.

This pathology is a major cause of death and disability all over the world; it is the third leading cause of cardiovascular death after acute myocardial infarction and stroke.

Therefore, experts stress the importance of knowing what are the risk factors that can lead to this condition.

The highest risk of suffering from the disease is associated with episodes of major surgery, hospitalization and prolonged immobilization. Also suffering from cancer Has genetic alterations that promote blood clotting. Age, the greater the risk. Family history of coagulopathies. Treatments such as chemotherapy, hormone replacement therapy, and birth control pills can also promote the development of VTE.

Economic burden of TEV

In addition to morbidity and mortality, VTE places a significant economic burden on the health system. Multiple diagnostic tests, treatments, long hospital stays, and follow-up care (including recurrent VTE) can be very expensive.

As the President of SETH points out, “If efforts are focused on preventing VTE, health systems can save money, improve outcomes and, fundamentally, save lives. Some countries have already implemented VTE policies and protocols that standardize (or even incentivize) the implementation of adequate VTE prevention ”.

To avoid venous thromboembolism associated with hospitalization, “hospitals should establish and apply a VTE prevention protocol to make them safer. For this, the guidelines established by the most recent clinical guidelines are recommended, based on the individual risk assessment of all hospitalized patients and an adequate preventive regimen, ”explains the expert.

As such, “it is the mission of hospitals, health systems, legislators and organizations in charge of hospital quality around the world to make the VTE prevention protocol a priority issue for the safety of hospitalized patients. », Concludes Dr Joan Carles Reverter.

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