March 2, 2005: DVT Awareness Month Created In Honor of Deceased NBC Reporter

DVT Awareness Month – Following years of activism by Melanie Bloom, national spokeswoman for the Coalition to Prevent DVT, Congress has declared March as Deep-Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month. The decision was passed unanimously after introduction by Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) on Feburary 16, 2005, in honor of Melanie Bloom’s husband, NBC reporter David Bloom.

David Bloom died in April 2003 of a pulmonary embolism while covering the Iraqi War. Mr. Bloom’s pulmonary embolism (PE) was precipitated by a case of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) partially caused by the conditions within the tank he was reporting from in Iraq. According to his wife, Melanie Bloom, he had just enough room to sleep with his “knees tucked into his chin”. This type of prolonged, limited mobility is a known risk factor for DVT formation in the lower limbs. After his sudden death, Mrs. Bloom has dedicated her life to preventing others from suffering the same fate as her late husband. Mrs. Bloom hopes that National Deep Vein Thrombosis Awareness Month will help educate the public regarding this life-threatening condition.

Having never heard of DVT or pulmonary embolisms, Mrs. Bloom had no way of knowing that her husband was experiencing several factors that would increase his risk of DVT: prolonged immobility, dehydration, and a disposition toward DVT due to an inherited blood coagulant disorder called Factor V Leiden.

Melanie Bloom wants to impress onto Americans “a simple message: Go to the doctor for a check-up. Simple, yet profound. It can save your life, or that of someone you love. ”

Information on Deep Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism

According to the American Public Health Association, nearly three-quarters of Americans have little or no awareness of either DVT or PE, even though DVT affects up to 2 million Americans yearly and PE causes about 200,000 U.S. deaths annually. The American Public Health Association also reports that two out of three such deaths from PE could have been prevented with awareness and early intervention.

Deep vein thrombosis and a resulting pulmonary embolism is considered a leading preventable cause of death in hospitalized patients in the United States. Proven medical practices can assess patient risk; and prevent, diagnose, and treat DVT and PE in the at risk patient, but unfortunately patients may not receive this care because too many health care providers are not aware of these practices, nor are these practices applied to patient care in a consistent and routine manner.

A pulmonary embolism (PE) is a sudden blockage in a lung artery. The blockage is actually a blood clot or blood clots that have traveled to the lungs from another part of the body. These traveling blood clots commonly form in the deep veins of the legs, and are called a deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Because a PE can block the flow of blood to the lungs, it can be disabling or fatal.

Blood Clot Symptoms – DVT Symptoms

Since a pulmonary embolism is a complication of a deep vein thrombosis or blood clot, it is important that patients and their families recognize the symptoms of a DVT. A DVT is a medical emergency, and it is critical to seek medical attention if you experience any DVT symptoms.

DVT symptoms may include:
• Swelling of the leg or along the vein of the leg
• Leg pain and tenderness

Skin in affected area may appear red or discolored and be warm to the touch.

Pulmonary Embolism Symptoms

Some pulmonary embolism victims may experience PE symptoms while others may experience no symptoms at all. In addition, some PE victims experience DVT symptoms only. Because a PE is a medical emergency, it is important to seek medical attention if you experience any PE or DVT symptoms. Symptoms of pulmonary embolism may include:

• Chest pain
• Sudden shortness of breath or trouble breathing
• Cough or cough with blood
• Wheezing
• Irregular heart beat (arrhythmia)
• Dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting
• Bluish tint to skin, or paleness
• Anxiety
• Sweating
• Increased or rapid breathing
• Increased heart rate
• Fever


The New Jersey Medical Malpractice Lawyers at The Weinberg Law Firm represent medical malpractice victims, including those who have suffered the consequences of a pulmonary embolism or DVT. We also represent those injured by a DVT or PE related to a drug adverse event, including Testosterone Lawsuits. For a free legal case evaluation, please call us toll free at 1-877-934-6274, or contact us online by using the Free Legal Case Evaluation Form found on this page.


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