Surgeon General Targets Killer Blood Clots

Easily treated 'silent' condition kills about 100,000 each year
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 15, 2008 5:08 PM CDT
Acting U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Steven Galson.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – An easily treatable complication related to blood clots kills 100,000 Americans every year, but a new federal awareness campaign aims to change that, the AP reports. Although deep vein thrombosis affects up to 600,000 people a year, "I don't think most people understand that this is a serious medical problem or what can be done to prevent it," the acting surgeon general said at the announcement of a "call to action."

DVT involves the formation of large clots, usually in the legs. It is most common in sedentary situations, like long plane flights or bed rest, but is related to a number of other common conditions, Reuters reports. A cardiologist praised the government's effort, saying "DVT after all these years will finally get the national spotlight like cigarette smoking did in the mid-60s."