A man who almost died from a blood clot has launched a campaign to teach people the warning signs.
Paul Westerman, founder of RBR Active, has launched #SeekHELP to warn others who experience Heat, Excessive redness, Localised swelling or Pain to get urgent medical attention.
The drive echoes the highly successful campaign Act FAST which was launched by Public Health England and educated the public on signs of a stroke.
Mr Westerman said he hoped his drive would save thousands of lives and attract government backing.
He said: “Blood clots cost the NHS millions of pounds which could be saved with heightened awareness.
“My blood clot nearly killed me. I thought I had hurt myself playing tennis, but the injury caused a blood clot and a few weeks later I was fighting for my life because the clot had travelled through my heart to my lungs causing a pulmonary embolism (PE).
“Knowing the main symptoms of a DVT is crucial, meaning you can get help quicker. By raising awareness of these symptoms, I hope it can help prevent people from suffering how I did.”
Sadly, there may be few or no symptoms of DVT and 80% of cases are ‘silent’. But if you experience heat, excessive redness, localised swelling or pain around your leg or arm, you could be experiencing a deep vein thrombosis and should #SeekHELP from a medical professional.
Mr Westerman added: “The #SeekHELP campaign aims to make the main symptoms easier to remember and therefore hopefully will cut the time down before people seek medical help. A blood clot left untreated can be life threatening!”
According to Thrombosis UK, blood clots kill more people each year than AIDS, breast cancer, prostate cancer and motor vehicle crashes combined.
It is also estimated that up to 60% of cases in the UK occur during or after hospitalisation, making it the leading preventable cause of hospital deaths.
Statistics show blood clots cost the NHS £200 million every single year, money Mr Westerman believes could be saved with greater awareness.
“I plan to continue to fight to address this problem and save lives,” he said.
Since his illness he has founded RBR Active and the company is currently developing a ground-breaking product with medical backing which could drastically reduce the instances of DVT.