Table of Contents  
EDITORIAL
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 83

The Power of One


Editor-IJVES, Director – Jain Institute of Vascular Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Date of Web Publication31-Jul-2017

Correspondence Address:
Kalkunte R Suresh
Editor-IJVES, Director – Jain Institute of Vascular Sciences, Bengaluru, Karnataka
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijves.ijves_32_17

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How to cite this article:
Suresh KR. The Power of One. Indian J Vasc Endovasc Surg 2017;4:83

How to cite this URL:
Suresh KR. The Power of One. Indian J Vasc Endovasc Surg [serial online] 2017 [cited 2017 Sep 19];4:83. Available from: http://www.indjvascsurg.org/text.asp?2017/4/3/83/211908



From throes of dusty battleground to “Coalition to prevent DVT”

The war raged in Iraq in 2003, and the US troops were progressing rapidly across the dusty terrain. Covering this war live was David Bloom, a highly regarded NBC television reporter, who was an avid tennis player, in pink of his health. After long haul flights to Kuwait from the USA, he was subjected to prolonged periods of cramped position in battle tanks and dehydration. His legs ached, which he attributed to his crouching position, and he informed this to his wife Mealnie couple of days before tragic events unfolded. Unknown to him, he had an inherited coagulation disorder (Factor V Leiden).

Two days later, David succumbed to massive pulmonary embolism (PE) almost instantaneously at a young age of 39, cutting short his promising career and leaving behind his wife Melanie and three young daughters. The tragedy would have sent most in to depression and withdrawal from realities of life. However, Melanie made it her life mission to create awareness about DVT and thus was born “Coalition to prevent DVT.” David did not succumb to the ravages of war but to inherent disorder and more importantly lack of awareness about venous thromboembolism (VTE). The “power of one” Melanie Bloom led to massive education program in DVT across the USA, and in 2005, US senate passed a resolution declaring March as DVT awareness month, with the initiative of the Surgeon General.

DVT and PE do exist in India, and the incidence is NOT less than other countries. This is well outlined in a CME article in this issue. This is penned mainly to update some who may not be aware of methods of diagnosis and treatment of VTE.

Doctors in India frequently comment that they “… don't see it…” That indeed is the problem. Unless the high index of suspicion exists, majority (nearly 80%) DVT can be missed and <50% of PE is diagnosed before death.



Unfortunately, majority of sudden deaths in India are attributed to “cardiac arrest” without any specific diagnosis. Significant numbers of these, especially after major surgical procedures, are likely from PE, which could be prevented with appropriate, simple perioperative measures. Barring a few hospitals across the country, no institution has any standard policy or protocol for the prevention and treatment of VTE. Even many postgraduate students graduate without being aware of hazards of these diseases, its diagnosis and therapy.

We need that “Power of One” like Melanie had in the USA to have a semblance of some awareness programs both to public and medical professionals. Will we find one? Not just for VTE, but for awareness about arterial diseases, diabetic foot, colossal negative impact of amputations, and many more. There are many who are striving to create this awareness, but the efforts should multiply many folds.

Nobody knows the key to success, but the key to failure is lack of effort.






 

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