A new study shows that women who are not physically active are more than two times likely to experience a pulmonary embolism (PE). The research was pulled from 18 years of data – from 1990 to 2008 – and found that 52 percent of women sat between 11 and 40 hours a week, and 5 percent sat 41 or more hours a week. The results indicated that inactivity could cause venous stasis and thrombosis. Conversely, activity helped the muscles in the lower extremities create venous blood flow.
As many people sit on the job or sit to relax after work, the study puts the spotlight on physical activity to counteract the potentially harmful consequences of a sedentary lifestyle. The Vascular Disease Foundation advocates that women need to know the risks and their family’s history of blood clots.
“Every year, more people die from preventable blood clots than from breast cancer, AIDS and traffic accidents combined,” said Dr. Samuel Goldhaber, Chairman of the Venous Disease Coalition. “It is so important to raise awareness about DVT and PE because although blood clots are common, few Americans have sufficient knowledge about blood clots and how to prevent them.”
Preventing a PE is far better than the prognosis after you have a blood clot. The signs of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) that could lead to a fatal blood clot include: a swollen limb, increased skin temperature or change in color, and pain or tenderness. A national campaign called “This is Serious” shows how many women thought their muscle pain was a charley horse, pulled muscle, or did not have any symptoms at all.
Knowing the risk factors can go a long way for individuals and their healthcare providers to prevent DVT from breaking loose, travelling to the lungs, and causing an untimely death. Women who are able to take a quick break every couple of hours to walk around the office or incorporate more physical activity into their routine can do their part to prevent a dangerous PE. But what about women in long-term care facilities or nursing homes?
In both temporary and ongoing long-term care centers, deep vein thrombosis and a pulmonary embolism is a non-reimbursable, “never event”. A facility will be held accountable for causing these health concerns, and will not be reimbursed by Medicare or be able to seek monies from the patient for the services needed to treat the issues. Healthcare professionals should take steps to help their patients stretch, do light exercises when possible, and encourage activities for physically able individuals.
Vascular PRN assists health care professionals with mechanical compression equipment rental and sales to proactively prevent DVT and PE in at-risk women and patients. They have a complete product offering for all patient types that can be delivered quickly to facilities throughout the United States. Their intermittent and sequential compression pumps for the foot, calf, and full leg are known for their comfort and efficacy.
Their website at www.vascularprn.com is a resource for directors of nursing, nursing home administrators, and medical professionals to learn more about compression therapy. The site also highlights industry news, frequently asked questions, and director of nursing and healthcare jobs.
To learn more, visit www.vascularprn.com or call 800-886-4331.
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