In honor of March being DVT Awareness Month, I decided this week I would share with you all an easy little acronym to recall the signs of a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Just to refresh your memory, a DVT is a blood clot that can form anywhere in your body (often in your lower legs) when you aren’t moving around as much as you usually do. People develop them on airplanes, long car rides, after injuries, in the hospital, and tons of other times. On top of that, anyone is at risk (old and young)! Being pregnant or on birth control pills, if you’re a smoker, if you’re overweight, or have any genetic blood disorders or a family history of clots increases your risk even more! The real danger of having a DVT is when the blood clots travel around your body and go to your heart, lungs, or brain. That can be fatal. In fact, over 100,000 people in the US die every year from blood clots that go to their lungs (pulmonary emboli). It’s the #1 cause of preventable death in hospitals.


Become AWARE of the signs of DVT and if you experience any, seek medical help immediately. Additionally if you have any of these signs and feel short of breath, have trouble breathing, have chest pain, or slurred speech call 911 immediately.

A= All of a sudden you experience the following symptoms

W= Warm to the touch arm, leg, or hip

A= Arm or leg pain that just started and gets worse when you point your toe up

R= Redness in the same area that is warm

E= Enlarged arm or leg (swollen larger than the other one)


Check out the rest of this website to learn some more…but seriously, check it out, what else are you really doing? 5 minutes on this site could save your life or the life of someone you know. That’s better than spending another 5 minutes procrastinating on StumbleUpon or Tumblr.

Please do me a favor and in honor of DVT Awareness Month, share this website with at least one person you know, and ask them to do the same. Help other people to become AWARE! 

My advisor told me that she had heard of this app that could calculate your risk for a deep vein thrombosis or a pulmonary embolism, and I decided I had to check it out!

It’s referred to as a Wells Score. You check off factors that apply to you, and it generates a number that can tell you how at risk you or a loved one is for a dvt/pe.


It’s a free app that you can download from the Apple store or the Android store.
Download it yourself and give it a try!

So many people around the world suffer from blood clots every year. In the US millions of people are affected by deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism (the focus of my research, although there are many other types of blood clots). An estimated 100,000-300,000 die every year in the US alone from DVT/PE. It can happen to anyone, politicians, professional athletes, or just your average person.

Among those affected are many famous people including:

David Bloom, late NBC reporter


Hillary Clinton, former First Lady and Secretary of State


Dick Cheney, former Vice President

Regis Philbin, talk show host

Adam McQuaid, NHL player, Boston Bruins

Joey Sindelar, professional golfer

Jamie Reno, journalist 

Serena Williams, professional tennis player

Frida Kahlo, late artist

Jimmy Stewart, late actor, “It’s a Wonderful Life”


So after a lot of debate I think I may have finally arrived at what I want to do for my project. The problem that I was having was wanting to take on too many different aspects related to this deep vein thrombosis/pulmonary embolism. I think that I have to wrap my head around the idea that I can’t solve the whole problem by myself in just one year. So here’s what I’m thinking:
1. Based on the literature I have read so far, and will continue to search for, there is very little research and documentation about public knowledge related to dvt/pe. I want to create this research since it doesn’t seem to exist. I’m thinking of using survey monkey and finding a way through the internet to reach as many people as possible. The survey would contain questions regarding:
-demographics, occupation, education level, etc.
-have you heard of dvt/pe?/what is it?
-if yes, can you identify any S/S?
-if yes, can you identify any risk factors?
-how do you obtain your health information?/how would you like to obtain it?
2, And next I would analyze the data and find out how many people actually don’t know about the topic. (since this number really is unknown)
3. I’m thinking that the results of the survey would then be what drives the education campaign. It would show where the knowledge deficit is and also how people obtain their health info. (I can also look into other education campaigns that have been done and see if there would be a way to model mine.)
4. Some of the ideas related to the education campaign I would then like to implement include:
-PSA (possibly get it onto youtube)
-radio ads
-risk assessment app for phone
-short app for phone- quick dvt/pe facts or FAQs related to dvt/pe
-posters in airports/mention it the flight safety video/info in the packs on the back of the seat
-twitter pages (and find other people who have been affected by this topic to tweet at and spread the video/spread the word)
-and various other things/social medias 
I woke up yesterday morning with no idea what I was planning to do, but while sitting in the honors colloquium I started to write in my notebook. Four or five full pages into it this is what I came up with. I think this is a topic/issue that is going to become graduate work for me and for now I’m just beginning to delve into it. Clot prevention is a huge issue that has so many contributing factors, there is no simple solution. I think educating the public will allow people to be more aware of their health and also empower them to advocate for themselves. As nurses I think that education, empowerment, and advocacy are such important parts of what we do.  I also think that educating the public not only educates lay people but reinforces it to all healthcare workers since they are obviously going to be exposed to it as well. I think it’s a good jumping off point to start with.
Any feedback? 

So I’ve been hunting around at various other blogs and some interesting ones I’ve found are:

Clot Connect

The Standford School of Medicine blog

The American Journal of Medicine blog

The Harvard Medical School blog

And a few others