Introducing Women & Blood Clots, a Life-Saving Initiative

While blood clots can impact anyone, ranging in age, activity levels, weight, overall health and even gender, women alone face a continuum of risk throughout their lifetimes that is unique to them. Birth control and family planning, pregnancy and childbirth, as well as the treatment of menopause symptoms all involve critical decisions that increase a woman’s risk for developing life-threatening blood clots. Already faced with intricate decisions involving self-protection, pregnancy, children, families, aging care and overall health, it is easy for a woman to feel overwhelmed in the face of these decisions. Nearly as varied as the people devastated by blood clots, is the available information aiding women to make healthy decisions for herself and her family.

Until now. Stop the Clot National Blood Clot Alliance, in partnership with the Alexandra L. Rowan Memorial Foundation, have launched a life-saving initiative specifically designed to educate women about the risks they face and ways to reduce those risks, Women & Blood Clots. Tragically, 23 year-old Alexandra lost her life due to a blood clot, with no warning. In order to preserve her memory and continue to raise awareness on a broad scale, this new resource focuses explicitly on the information women need to make informed decisions to protect themselves as well as understand the signs and symptoms of blood clots, including blood clots deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or blood clots in the arms or legs and pulmonary embolism (PE) or blood clots in the lungs.

Women are at an increased risk for blood clots during three key phases of their lives.

  1. While taking oral contraceptives (or birth control). Visit the site or watch this short video to learn more about pregnancy and family planning, including birth control methods and blood clot risks.
  2. During Pregnancy and Childbirth, including the initial weeks post-childbirth. Visit the site or watch this short video for information about risk during pregnancy, including anticoagulation therapy while pregnant, giving birth while taking blood thinners and risk management after giving birth.
  3. When receiving hormone replacement therapy (HRT) for the treatment of menopause symptoms. Visit the site or watch this short video for more information about receiving hormonal treatment as an aging woman.

Women & Blood Clots is a uniquely feminine and bright site dedicated to educating a variety of women while remaining simple to read, easy to navigate and full of valuable, life-preserving information.

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As a blood clot awareness advocate, Women & Blood Clots is very important to me because the issues pertaining to birth control, pregnancy, child birth and hormone replacement therapy and blood clots or recovery are the topics I discuss each and every day with so many of you. While understanding risk, evaluating treatment options, and recognizing the signs and symptoms of potentially deadly blood clots should always be discussed with your chosen medical professional, Women & Blood Clots comes as a much-needed resource in an area that was previously laking for concise, clear and easily accessible information. In my personal life, I still talk to females far too frequently who are taking birth control, pregnant or even a new mother and have no idea they are at risk for something that could claim their lives. This resource is critical, it is essential and it is life-saving.

According to the American Public Health Association, nearly three-quarters of people know little or nothing about DVT, or blood clots that form in the deep veins of the legs. Similar research conducted by the National Blood Clot Alliance shows that fewer than 10% of a national sample of people had any knowledge of DVT and PE. Furthermore, only 30% of people who recognized what a blood clot is were familiar with signs, symptoms, or risks factors. Those statistics are staggering considering that also according to the NBCA, as many 900,000 people in the United States are affected by blood clots. About 100,000 of these individuals will die due to a blood clot. That is about 274 people every single day. The number of deaths due to blood clots each year is greater than the annual number of deaths due to AIDs, breast cancer, and car accidents combined, yet, they remain virtually unheard of by a vast number of people (Stop the Clot).

Please, bookmark Women & Blood Clots, share it on social media or email it to the women in your own life. Even if you do not know how to approach what are often sensitive topics, read over the information or watch the videos and share a few facts with the women you cherish. Usually, the conversation evolves on its own simply by sharing your story. For example, I often share what happened to me and the ladies I have spoken to may say, “I’m so glad that won’t happen to me,” and I then follow up with, “If you’re taking birth control you are still at risk” or “If you’re planning to have children you’re at risk too.” Then I tell them what signs and symptoms to watch out for. Most women want to know more about initiatives they can take to care for themselves or their loved ones and walk away from the conversation feeling empowered about their own health. By equipping people with the knowledge to make informed decisions, we ultimately save lives and hopefully move toward a future where fewer lives are lost as a result of blood clots.

In an effort to foster even more conversation, awareness, education and empowerment, the National Blood Clot Alliance along with the Rowan Foundation, will soon launch an online support group and discussion community, powered by Inspire, to provide a safe and supportive place where, patients, loved ones, family members, friends and caregivers can converse, share and support one another when facing the life-altering effects of blood clots and blood clotting disorders. I will share this resource here once it becomes available and you can sign up for updates too. 

Reader Writes In: Have you been waiting for a resource like this? Who is one person or where is one place you plan to share this information? 

There is hope for healing and you are not alone,

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Blood Clots in the News: 5th Edition

5th Edition Cover

Blood clots – Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) or Pulmonary Embolism (PE) cause more than 100,000 deaths in the United States every year (per the National Blood Clot Alliance). These deaths include men, women and children — and sadly these numbers continue to grow. The good news is that many blood clot-caused deaths can be prevented.  The bad news is more awareness still needs to be raised about this often silent killer. With Blood Clot Awareness Month not far behind us, it seems like blood clots have been in the news much more recently, and for that I am grateful. I hope we can keep the momentum going as we continue talking about and raising awareness about this important and virtually unheard of public health concern.

Explore the links below for more Blood Clots in the News: 5th Edition

Meredith Vieira’s husband describes ‘touch and go’ health scare
Photo courtesy of  Today.com

Photo courtesy of Today.com

The husband of former TODAY anchor Meredith Vieira said doctors pulled him “back from the brink” over the weekend after treating him for a blood clot in his lungs.

In a blog post Tuesday titled “Crisis,” veteran news producer Richard Cohen described how a badly swollen foot and a series of tests led doctors to discover a large blood clot in his leg. Additional scans revealed a piece of the clot had broken off and “perched on a blood vessel close to my heart.” [Read More]

Study of Drug for Blood Clots Caused a Stir, Records Show

The makers of the blood-thinning drug Pradaxa were so worried that an internal research paper would damage drug sales that some employees not only pressured the author to revise it, but suggested it should be quashed altogether, according to newly unsealed legal documents.

The documents were made public last week by a federal judge in Illinois who is overseeing thousands of lawsuits filed by patients and their families, who say that Pradaxa’s manufacturer, the German company Boehringer Ingelheim, failed to properly warn them about the risks of taking the drug. [Read More]

Risk of Serious Blood Clots Extends to 12 Weeks After Childbirth Researchers Find Risk Lasts Twice as Long as Previously Thought

 Mothers remain at risk of developing a serious blood clot for 12 weeks after giving birth, rather than six weeks as previously thought, say a team of researchers in a study published online today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

While development of blood clots after childbirth is very uncommon, physicians should know that they can occur up to 12 weeks after delivery, and future studies are needed to see if some women will benefit from extended therapy to prevent such complications…[Read More]

Danger in the Ring

When 24-year-old Erika Langhart—talented, beautiful, bound for law school—died on Thanksgiving Day 2011, she became one of thousands of suspected victims of the birth-control device NuvaRing. Elite army athlete Megan Henry, who survived rampant blood clots in her 20s, is another. With major suits against NuvaRing’s manufacturer, Merck, headed for trial, Marie Brenner asks why, despite evidence of serious risk, a potentially lethal contraceptive remains on the market. [Read More]

Buffalo Grove grad found near ISU campus died from blood clot

A 20-year-old Buffalo Grove High School graduate found unresponsive Saturday in her apartment near Illinois State University died from a blood clot in her pulmonary artery, according to an autopsy…[Read More]

Share your story. Have you noticed blood clots in the news lately? Have you heard of any more stories not listed above?

There is hope for healing and you are not alone,

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