Vancouver clinic highlights how to spot and prevent thrombosis

Vancouver's St. Paul's Hospital is hoping to teach people the signs of blood clots, so they can get the timely medical care that could mean the difference between life and death. Linda Aylesworth reports.

Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Hospital is shining a spotlight on thrombosis, a potentially deadly condition that most people don’t think much about.

Anna Rahmani with St. Paul’s Thrombosis Clinic says one in four deaths in Canada is due to conditions that were caused by blood clots.

Most people, however, don’t recognize the signs and symptoms of thrombosis.

“It’s quite a significant problem that we need to work with and educate,” she said.

She says blood clot symptoms can be hard to spot since they can be similar to symptoms for other conditions.

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A blood clot in the leg can present as pain and tenderness; people often describe them as a charley horse or as if they have overexercised and that can also include warmth and swelling in the leg. Blood clots in the lung can present with chest pain, shortness of breath and lightheadedness.

“These are not very unique symptoms so it’s very important for people to have a sense of what these symptoms are and seek medical attention to make sure that they’re not caused by blood clots.”

Rahmani says it’s critical for people to visit a medical professional who has the tools to make a proper diagnosis.

St. Paul’s Hospital will host educational sessions about deep vein thrombosis at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Cullen Family Lecture Theatre. Click here to register.

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