THROMBOSIS or blood clots, as it is more commonly known, is one of the main causes of stroke and heart attack, which are leading causes of cardiovascular deaths globally. This year, on World Thrombosis Day, which is commemorated on October 13, Netcare hospital staff across the country educated patients and the public on the causes, symptoms and possible ways of preventing thrombosis. Thrombosis is a serious condition that can result in stroke, heart attack as well as venous thromboembolism or VTE, which is condition that includes both deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), which is when a clot blocks a major artery in a lung. These can all result in permanent disability and can be fatal. Dr Biancha Mentoor, clinical improvement lead at Netcare, says: “Many South Africans have heard of blood clotting, but few people know what VTE is and sadly, a large number of individuals succumb to it. VTE also poses a great risk to patients before and after undergoing surgery and can impact their recovery. “When deep vein thrombosis is left untreated and progresses, it can cause parts of the blood clot to break away and enter the lungs, which in turn causes a potentially lethal pulmonary embolism. Together, deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism are known as a venous thromboembolism,” says Dr Mentoor. “It is tragic that close to a million people die worldwide as a result of VTE each year, especially considering the fact that it can often be prevented by doing a few basic exercises, making some small adjustments to your lifestyle or adding prophylactic non-pharmacological or pharmacological measures to the prevention regime,” says Dr Anchen Laubscher, Netcare medical director, a firm supporter of the campaign. “For this very reason Netcare has partnered with the International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis in the United States and have embraced #keeplifemoving as the theme of this year’s Thrombosis Day activities at Netcare hospitals,” Dr Laubscher says. “Our activities on the day will include educating patients on the different types of leg exercises that can be done while in hospital to improve blood flow and reduce the risk of blood clots. This is an important component of the Netcare VTE prevention programme.” says Dr Mentoor. - Supplied.