Covidien launches campaign to increase awareness of pregnancy-related blood clots

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On 27 June 2012, Covidien announced the launch of  its “1 in 1,000” campaign to help educate women about the risk of pregnancy-related blood clots, one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in the developed world.  The announcement was made at the 2012 annual meeting of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN). 

“1 in 1,000” refers to the number of women who are likely to experience a potentially life-threatening blood clot during pregnancy, delivery or postpartum. 

“The increased incidence of venous thromboembolism during pregnancy and the peripartum period warrants special consideration and preventive intervention,” said Randall Kuhlmann, director of the Maternal Fetal Medicine Section and Maternal Fetal Care Center at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Froedtert Hospital. “As an obstetrician, it is my job to protect my patients from this preventable disease by facilitating education and following the recommended guidelines for prophylaxis.”

Developed in consultation with leading women’s health experts, the “1 in 1,000” education and prevention program focuses on empowering healthcare professionals to take action against venous thromboembolism. The programme includes guidelines and materials on how to educate pregnant patients on the risks of venous thromboembolism and highlights the importance of appropriate venous thromboembolism risk assessment – as well as prevention protocols at hospitals and health systems. The Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) awarded its Seal of Recognition for “1 in 1,000” campaign program components. Additional program information and materials can be accessed at www.covidien.com/1in1000.

“Research shows that pregnant women are at four to five times’ greater risk for developing a potentially life-threatening venous thromboembolism than non-pregnant women, said Stacy Enxing Seng, president, Vascular Therapies, Covidien. “Our goal with this campaign is to help prevent these occurrences by opening the lines of communication between healthcare providers and their patients about the frequency and severity of this condition. Informed discussion, ongoing patient assessment and preventive intervention may help save lives.”

In pregnant women, the likelihood of venous thromboembolism onset heightens during delivery and the immediate postpartum period. Physiologic and anatomic changes during pregnancy increase a woman’s risk for venous thromboembolism, and having a cesarean delivery (C-section) nearly doubles that risk. Other risk factors include personal or family history of clotting disorders, pregnancy-induced hypertension, age greater than 35, obesity, race and smoking, among others.

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently issued guidelines recommending prophylaxis and treatment for thromboembolic events in pregnancy, including the placement of pneumatic compression devices for all women undergoing C-sections who are not already receiving another form of thromboprophylaxis.