National Blood Clot Alliance Amplifies Awareness Efforts in Recognition of Blood Clot Awareness Month 2016

​​​​In recognition of Blood Clot Awareness Month, observed each year during the month of March, the National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) is implementing a community wide awareness campaign focused on important community connections in the recognition and prevention of dangerous blood clots.

“Each year, blood clots kill more individuals than AIDS, breast cancer, and automobile accidents combined,” says Sara Wassenaar, DDS, and Board President of the National Blood Clot Alliance. “We need to improve the recognition of this important public health issue, and ensure that people understand that blood clots can affect anyone.”

Blood clots do not discriminate by age, gender, ethnicity, or race. Blood clots affect the young and healthy, as well as the elderly and infirm. Up to 900,000 people are affected by dangerous blood clots each year. About 100,000 of these people will die.

“It’s crucial for people to understand their risks, and also recognize their symptoms, says Wassenaar, who lost her daughter Anna, at the age of 23, due to undiagnosed deep vein thrombosis and subsequent fatal pulmonary embolism. “First, we did not know about the potential risk factors associated with blood clots, and, even when our daughter was exhibiting some of the classic signs and symptoms while away at college, her condition was not properly diagnosed.”

Understanding Blood Clot Risks, Signs and Symptoms

A dangerous blood clot that commonly forms in the deep veins of the leg or arm is called a deep vein thrombosis or DVT. These clots can grow or break apart and travel to the lung. A blood clot in the lung is called a pulmonary embolism or PE and can be fatal.

There are several risk factors for life-threatening blood clots, including:

  • Hospitalization for illness or surgery, major surgery of the pelvis, abdomen or knee
  • Physical trauma, such as a car accident
  • Cancer and cancer treatments
  • Use of birth control methods that contain estrogen, such as the pill, patch or ring
  • Pregnancy, which includes the six weeks after the baby is born
  • A family history of blood clots

There are several important signs and symptoms of blood clots. If you can recognize these signs and symptoms, you can save your life or the life of a friend or family member.

Symptoms of a blood clot in the leg or arm include:

  • Swelling of the leg or arm
  • Pain or tenderness not caused by an injury
  • Skin that is warm to the touch and/or red or discolored

Contact your healthcare provider if you experience any of these signs or symptoms.

 Symptoms of a blood clot in the lung include:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain that worsens with a deep breath
  • Coughing or coughing up blood
  • Faster than normal or irregular heartbeat

Seek immediate medical attention if you experience any of these signs or symptoms.

Origins of Blood Clot Awareness Month

Conceived through the bipartisan cooperation of Congresswomen Lois Capps (D-CA) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), each of whom lost loved ones to a blood clot, Blood Clot Awareness Month signals an important opportunity to amplify efforts to improve public awareness of deadly blood clots.

NBCA’s mission is focused on building awareness, and the primary driver for our work in this arena has always rested with the ongoing challenge to increase recognition of blood clots,” says NBCA CEO Randy Fenninger, JD, who himself has survived multiple blood clots in his lungs. “Central to our efforts is the need to equip people with the knowledge they need to discuss their risk factors with their healthcare providers.”

During Blood Clot Awareness Month this year, NBCA is featuring the personal blood clot story of one person each day of the month across all of its social media platforms, and also sharing key information and creative content each week of the month related to blood clot awareness, risks, signs/symptoms, prevention, and recovery.

More information about NBCA’s additional efforts during Blood Clot Awareness Month can be found here. People also can connect with NBCA’s Stop the Clot® Online Support Community, powered by Inspire, and share their personal story with many others in the clotting community here: Share a Story, Save a Life.

NBCA is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, voluntary health organization dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots, such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and clot-provoked stroke. NBCA accomplishes its mission through programs that build public awareness, educate patients and healthcare professionals, and promote supportive public and private sector policy.

Please contact NBCA’s Communications Department at if you have any questions or comments about Blood Clot Awareness Month 2016.


Categories: Non Profit, Hematology/Blood Disorders, Healthcare and Medical News

Tags: blood clot awareness month, blood clots, deep vein thrombosis, DVT, PE, pulmonary embolism

About National Blood Clot Alliance

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NBCA is a non-profit, voluntary health organization dedicated to advancing the prevention, early diagnosis and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots such as deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and clot-provoked stroke.