Daiichi Sankyo is proud to partner with World Thrombosis Day to promote vital global awareness of thrombosis, its causes, risk factors, and signs and symptoms. Thrombosis is the formation of potentially deadly blood clots in the vein (venous thrombosis) - resulting in venous thromboembolism (VTE) - or the artery (arterial thrombosis) - a major cause of stroke in those with atrial fibrillation (AF).
VTE is the collective term for deep vein thrombosis (DVT), where clots form in deep veins such as in the leg, and pulmonary embolism (PE), where a clot breaks off and travels up to the lungs. It is the leading cause of preventable death in hospitals. Despite this, VTE is associated with over 370,000 deaths every year in the EU alone, so people need to be aware and 'think VTE' if they or a loved one need to spend time in hospital.
Commenting on today's initiative, Dr. Harry R. Büller, Professor of Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Centre in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, said, "Today we're calling on healthcare professionals and policy makers to prioritise the implementation of VTE risk assessments to help reduce the threat posed by this disease. We're also calling for greater public awareness and knowledge of the signs and symptoms of VTE in order to empower individuals to act quickly to seek medical attention. The World Thrombosis Day campaign can play a key part in helping to reduce the mortality associated with VTE."
VTE risk assessments have been shown to significantly reduce mortality. A routine risk assessment should be conducted by a doctor or nurse on all surgical and medical patients with reduced mobility. Risk factors such as a history of blood clots, obesity, previous surgery, pregnancy and use of contraceptive pills should also be accounted for in the assessment. Presence of one or more of these factors may indicate the need for anticoagulant medicine, provided the patient is not at risk of bleeding.
Arterial thrombosis can occur as a result of AF, in which the heartbeat is rapid and irregular. With an irregular heartbeat, blood flow may slow or pool and cause the formation of a clot; if the clot breaks free, it can lodge in an artery, travel to the brain and result in a stroke. Thus all AF patients should be assessed for their risk of stroke.
Up to 20% of people with AF experience no symptoms, particularly if their heart rate is not that fast. As such, many patients are not diagnosed early enough and an acute stroke is a common first presentation of AF. A simple pulse check can quickly indicate the presence of AF for many.
Professor John Camm, Professor of Clinical Cardiology at St. George's University London and Professor of Cardiology at Imperial College London, comments, "An irregular pulse can be a strong indicator of AF, and so in asking the public and healthcare providers to carry out simple pulse checks as a matter of course, we can help ensure that many of those at risk of suffering strokes are prompted to receive the treatments they need to reduce this risk. Enabling patients to be properly anticoagulated is an essential step in reducing the disease burden, with AF-related strokes accounting for 15% of the 15 million strokes that occur globally every year."
To hear more from Dr. Büller and Professor Camm, and for further information on AF, VTE and the importance of AF pulse checks and VTE risk assessments, check out our interactive infographic at http://af-vte.thisinfographic.com/wtd.
VTE is a condition in which a blood clot (a thrombus) forms in a vein, most commonly in the deep veins of the legs or pelvis. This is known as DVT. The thrombus can dislodge and travel in the blood (an embolus), particularly to the pulmonary (lung) arteries. This is known as PE. The term VTE includes both DVT and PE. Venous thromboembolic diseases cover a spectrum ranging from asymptomatic calf vein thrombosis to symptomatic DVT. They can be fatal if they lead to PE, in which the blood supply to the lungs is blocked by the thrombus. Non-fatal VTE can cause serious long-term conditions such as post-thrombotic syndrome.
NVAF is a condition where the heart beats irregularly, meaning blood can pool and thicken in the left atrium of the heart, causing a risk for blood clots which then go on to cause stroke or systemic embolism. Patients with AF are five times more likely to suffer a stroke than those without the condition.
About Daiichi Sankyo
Daiichi Sankyo Group is dedicated to the creation and supply of innovative pharmaceutical products to address diversified, unmet medical needs of patients in both mature and emerging markets. With over 100 years of scientific expertise and a presence in more than 20 countries, Daiichi Sankyo and its 17,000 employees around the world draw upon a rich legacy of innovation and a robust pipeline of promising new medicines to help people. In addition to its strong portfolio of medicines for hypertension, dyslipidemia, bacterial infections, and thrombotic disorders, the Group's research and development is focused on bringing forth novel therapies in cardiovascular-metabolic diseases, pain management, and oncology, including biologics. For more information, please visit: http://www.daiichisankyo.com.
- Lydia Worms
European Product PR Lixiana
Phone +49 89 7808751
- Worldthrombosisday.org. About World Thrombosis Day. Available at: http://www.worldthrombosisday.org/issue/thrombosis/. Last accessed September 2015.
- Stoptheclot.org. Atrial Fibrillation. Available at: http://www.stoptheclot.org/afib-2.htm. Last accessed September 2015.
- NHS Choices (2015) Blood Clots. Available at: http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Thrombosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx . Last accessed September 2015.
- The Royal College of Nursing. Understanding VTE. Available at: https://www.rcn.org.uk/development/practice/cpd_online_learning/nice_care_preventing_venousthromboembolism/understanding_vte. Last accessed September 2015.
- Cohen A, Agnelli G, Anderson F, et al. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) in Europe. Thromb Haemost. 2007;98:756-764.
- Lester W, Freemantle N, Begaj I, Ray D, Wood J, Pagano D. Fatal venous thromboembolism associated with hospital admission: a cohort study to assess the impact of a national risk assessment target. Heart. 2013;99(23):1734-1739.
- The Royal College of Nursing. VTE Risk Assessment. Available at: http://www.rcn.org.uk/development/practice/cpd_online_learning/nice_care_preventing_venousthromboembolism/vte_risk_assessments. Last accessed September 2015.
- Afibmatters.org. Atrial Fibrillation. Available at: http://www.afibmatters.org/About-atrial-fibrillation. Last accessed September 2015.
- Patient.co.uk. Atrial Fibrillation. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/pdf/4198.pdf (2012). Last accessed September 2015.
- Worldthrombosisday.org. Atrial Fibrillation. Available at: http://www.worldthrombosisday.org/issue/AFib/. Last accessed September 2015.
- Patient.co.uk. Professional reference. Atrial Fibrillation. Available at: http://www.patient.co.uk/doctor/atrial-fibrillation. Last accessed September 2015.
- Camm, A. et al. Guidelines for the management of atrial fibrillation: the Task Force for the Management of Atrial Fibrillation of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). European Heart Journal. 2010;31:2369-429.
- British Heart Foundation. Atrial Fibrillation. Available at: https://www.bhf.org.uk/heart-health/conditions/atrial-fibrillation. Last accessed September 2015.
- NICE. Venous thromboembolic diseases: the management of venous thromboembolic diseases and the role of thrombophilia testing. NICE clinical guideline 144. Issued June 2012. Available at: http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg144/resources/guidance-venous-thromboembolic-diseases-the-management-of-venous-thromboembolic-diseases-and-the-role-of-thrombophilia-testing-pdf. Last accessed October 2015.
- NICE Patient Decision Aid. Atrial fibrillation: medicines to help reduce your risk of stroke - what are the options? Published 18 June 2014. Available at: https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg180/resources/cg180-atrial-fibrillation-update-patient-decision-aid2. Last accessed October 2015.
- Lip G, et al. Atrial fibrillation and stroke prevention. Lancet Neurology. 2007;6(11):981-993.