March is global DVT (Blood Clot) Awareness Month, which includes: “DVT’s” (Deep vein thrombosis), “PE’s” (Pulmonary embolisms’), “BA’s” (Brain aneurysms’), heart attacks and conditions related to ”VTE’s” (Venous thromboembolism).

Martin Lemieux

I’m Martin Lemieux (@Martin_Lemieux) – I’ve been a #DVT patient all my life. I have a hereditary illness called “Factor V Leiden”, which basically makes me prone to life-threatening DVT’s for the rest of my life. I’ve survived FIVE blood clots within my left leg, ONE clot within my right leg, and a very painful clot in my pelvic area.

Facts about Blood Clots:

EVERY 5 MINUTES, SOMEONE DIES FROM A BLOOD CLOT!

  • 60,000-100,000 Americans die of DVT/PE
  • More than 66,000 Canadians died from strokes and related conditions.
  • Each year, 1 in every 1,000 people in the United Kingdom is affected by DVT.

It’s estimated that blood clots are the 2nd leading global killer. That’s more than cancer, HIV/Aids, COPD, and Diabetes.

What are the Signs?

Each type of blood clot is different, some are unfortunately hard to detect, and once detected, it’s sometimes too late. True story: A boy who signed up for an XBOX gaming competition, played for around 12 hours straight. A day later, he had a job interview and died within the interview. It was later discovered that he had developed a DTV in his leg, which after standing up from playing video games, the clot had travelled into his lungs. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

Here’s how I can tell if I have a DVT (Clot):

  • Pain starts in my lower leg right behind the calf
  • I can leave an imprint with my finger on my foot due to the swelling
  • My foot will turn into a reddish/purple colour
  • My leg feels like elastic from the thigh to below my knee which wants to snap back into a 90 degree position

One of the most important things you can do to prevent blood clots is to recognize if you are at risk, as well as know the signs and symptoms of blood clots. See your doctor if you experience pain, swelling, redness or warmth in your leg and seek medical attention if you experience chest pain, shortness of breath, rapid heart rate or coughing, sometimes with bloody mucus.”Sara Wyen (www.bloodclotrecovery.net)

In Closing – Prevention is the KEY to Survival:

Never sit still for too long. Car trips, plane rides, and anything sitting for too long poses a risk. Make sure to stretch your legs whenever possible. When in doubt, seek medical advice right away. The faster you react, the better your chances at survival from this killer. If you have ANY of these combination of symptoms, do not wait because every second you wait could be the difference between life and death.

SOURCES:

Chronic Illness Blog: http://my-chronic-illness.blogspot.ca/2013/04/how-to-tell-if-i-have-blood-clot.html
Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2020462/Xbox-addict-20-killed-blood-clot-12-hour-gaming-sessions.html
W.H.O: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs310/en/
NHS Choices: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Deep-vein-thrombosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Heart & Stroke Foundation of Canada: http://www.heartandstroke.com/site/c.ikIQLcMWJtE/b.3483991/k.34A8/Statistics.htm
CDC: http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/dvt/data.html

Martin R. Lemieux

Martin R. Lemieux

Founder & President at Clots Matter
Martin R. Lemieux is a patient care advocate and rare disease ambassador. Martin has suffered for over 23 years with multiple rare vascular diseases, including; Factor V Leiden (Blood Clotting Hereditary Illness), Livedoid Vasculopathy, Chronic Venous Ulcers and PTS (Post Thrombotic Syndrome).

Martin is currently the Patient Ambassador for Thrombosis Canada and also the Founder & President of Clots Matter (www.ClotsMatter.ca) - Building Canadian Patient Advocates, One Clot Story at a Time.

You can reach Martin online through twitter using @Martin_Lemieux or @ClotsMatter.
Martin R. Lemieux