Healthcare Blog

Sports Legend Terry Francona Urges Americans To Understand The Signs, Symptoms And Risk Factors For Deep-Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

May 17, 2017

Boston Red Sox manager, Terry Francona, spent his entire life devoted to baseball. In 2004, leading his team to the victory championship was a dream come true in more ways than one. After suffering from a pulmonary embolism (PE), a complication of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), Terry is lucky to be alive. Today, he is devoting his time to another dream: reducing the risk of DVT.

Each year, up to two million people in the US are affected by DVT blood clots, which may be fatal if left undiagnosed and untreated. In fact, complications from DVT kill up to 200,000 people annually in the US -- more than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

"I am very fortunate, having suffered from a PE not once but twice," says Terry Francona. "I know that others might not be as lucky as I was. I was given a second chance and now I hope to make a difference in someone else's life."

To help educate the public about the signs, symptoms and risk factors for DVT, Francona and baseball legends including Tony Gwynn, Phil Niekro, Rollie Fingers, Paul Blair, Dennis Eckersley, Jim Fregosi and Aaron Cook-who have all been touched by DVT in some way -- have united for the second DVT Blood Clots: Know The Stats. Know Your Risk. campaign.

"Early detection is crucial and Terry Francona is a perfect example of this," says Dr. Geno Merli, Ludwig Kind Professor of Medicine and Director Jefferson Center for Vascular Diseases, Jefferson Medical College and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. "Many individuals who are otherwise healthy or hospitalized for some other condition can develop DVT blood clots. People need to recognize the symptoms of DVT and speak to their healthcare professional to determine whether or not they are at risk because in most cases, the risk can be reduced."

DVT Blood Clots: Know The Stats. Know Your Risk., is brought to you by sanofi-aventis U.S. Sanofi-aventis is committed to raising awareness of DVT through various programs.

About DVT and Pulmonary Embolism (PE)

DVT blood clots affect up to 2 million Americans each year, and complications kill up to 200,000 people in the U.S. annually -- more than breast cancer and AIDS combined. Yet, most Americans (74 percent) have little or no awareness of DVT, according to a national survey sponsored by the American Public Health Association.

DVT is a condition resulting from the formation of a blood clot inside a deep vein, commonly located in the calf or thigh. DVT occurs when the blood clot either partially or completely blocks the flow of blood in the vein. A PE is a potentially life-threatening complication and occurs when a fragment of a blood clot breaks loose and travels to the lungs. Symptoms of a PE may include shortness of breath, rapid pulse, excessive sweating, sharp chest pain and very low blood pressure.

DVT can strike almost anyone at risk. Factors and conditions that may increase the risk of DVT include: immobility, injury, obesity, smoking, oral contraceptives, pregnancy, surgery and or/illnesses including cancer.

Treatments for DVT include early mobilization, sequential compression devices to prevent blood clotting, and anticoagulants and/or blood-thinning drugs. It is important to consult your healthcare professional about the signs and symptoms associated with DVT.

For more information and a free risk assessment kit, visit dvt/myDVTrisk or call 1-866-MY-DVT-RISK.

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis is the world's third largest pharmaceutical company, ranking number one in Europe. Backed by a world-class R&D organization, sanofi-aventis is developing leading positions in seven major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, thrombosis, oncology, metabolic diseases, central nervous system, internal medicine, and vaccines. Sanofi-aventis is listed in Paris (EURONEXT: SAN) and in New York (NYSE: SNY)