Europe should lead in understanding & prevention of blood clots
The European Thrombosis and Haemostasis Alliance (ETHA) is an association of 22 national European thrombosis and haemostasis associations representing medical professionals in the field of clotting and bleeding disorders. We are allied to give the European thrombosis and haemostasis community a voice and provide input to European Union (EU) health and patient safety strategies, make recommendations on EU research programme funding and encourage sharing and adoption of best practices in the treatment and prevention of thrombotic and bleeding disorders across EU Member States. ETHA has recently become a member of Health First Europe.
Thrombosis is a contributing factor in 1 in 4 deaths, and the underlying cause of many cardiovascular disorders including heart attack, thromboembolic stroke and venous thromboembolism (VTE). Hospital acquired VTE is a leading cause of preventable hospital death, yet best practices to safeguard patient safety and avoid this disease are often not implemented. VTE also contributes to chronic disability for people who have non-fatal clots, including chronic pain and swelling in the leg from post-thrombotic syndrome, or chronic pulmonary hypertension from blood clots in the lung.
Across Europe, the burden of chronic diseases is rising, and populations are ageing, making it all the more imperative to advance the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of bleeding and clotting disorders. The sheer size of this issue requires cooperation between countries and national associations with a clear steering on the EU level. We are committed to European research to identify ways to reduce the rates of preventable clots, develop better prevention methods, and better treat clots when they happen.
A better understanding of haemostasis, and more advanced prevention, diagnosis and treatment for clots are all needed to prevent hundreds of thousands of cases of preventable death and disability in Europe every year. As ETHA we are pleased to work with Health First Europe and the EU institutions to advance patient safety in Europe and address the burden of VTE.
More information about ETHA is available online at www.ETHA.eu.
Dr. Anna Falanga,
European Thrombosis and Haemostasis Alliance