A University of Oklahoma researcher is a member of a U.S. Surgeon General's task force to combat deep vein thrombosis, which is more deadly than breast cancer and HIV-AIDS combined.
About 3,000 Oklahomans are among 2 million Americans who are newly diagnosed annually with deep vein thrombosis. Dr. Suman Rathbun of OU Physicians and an associate professor of cardiovascular medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center recently participated in a task force workshop in Washington. Deep vein thrombosis occurs when a blood clot forms in one of the body's large veins -- usually in the lower limbs -- leading to either partially or completely blocked blood circulation. It affects people of all ages, yet many who are at risk are unaware of the medical problem. Risk factors include being hospitalized, undergoing surgery, especially orthopedic surgery; obesity, having varicose veins, taking birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy, and any trauma or injury to the leg. Symptoms of deep vein thrombosis may include pain, swelling, tenderness and discoloration or redness of the affected area. To assess your risk for deep vein thrombosis, go to www. preventDVT.org.