Surgeon General Announces Call to Action at VDC Meeting


Surgeon General Announces Call to Action at VDC Meeting
Members of the Venous Disease Coalition (VDC) and the Office of the Surgeon General came together at the VDC Annual Meeting in Washington D.C. on Monday, September 15th.  Acting Surgeon General Rear Admiral Steven K. Galson issued “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action for the Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism,” which, combined, affect hundreds of thousands of Americans each year.

Dr. Galson laid out recommendations for the prevention of these two common, yet deadly major public health threats, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE).  The Call to Action urges a coordinated, multifaceted plan to reduce the numbers of cases for both ailments nationwide.  The plan emphasizes the need for increased awareness about deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism, evidence-based practices for deep vein thrombosis, and more research on the causes, prevention, and treatment of deep vein thrombosis.

“Together DVT and PE may be responsible for more than 100,000 deaths each year, but there is reason to believe that the true incidence rate could be significantly higher, as several studies suggest that these diseases are often undiagnosed,” said Dr. Galson.  “One thing is undeniably clear—DVT and PE are major national public health problems that have a dramatic, negative impact on the lives of hundreds of thousands Americans each year.”
In addition to the “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action for the Prevention of Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism,” the VDC conducted its second annual meeting where more than 100 top doctors and members of governmental health agencies and major healthcare professional organizations were in attendance.  The VDC outlined plans to respond to the Surgeon General’s Call to Action that will create a national public awareness campaign.

“This is a historical and important event,” said Samuel Z. Goldhaber, MD, Chair of the VDC and Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.  “The Surgeon General’s Call to Action will have as much impact on preventing and treating this devastating illness as the Surgeon General’s report in the 1960’s alerted the public to the dangers of cigarette smoking. Educating the American public about DVT will raise awareness, which will in turn save many lives.  We are grateful to Rear Admiral Galson for championing this new government initiative and placing DVT as a top priority on America’s health agenda.”

The Surgeon General's Call to Action to Prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism 2008 is available at http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/calls/index.html.  To order, contact the NHLBI Health Information Center at 301-592-8573 or at NHLBIInfo@nhlbi.nih.gov.


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