Healthcare Industry News:  metabolic disease 

Biopharmaceuticals

 News Release - February 1, 2007

Sanofi-aventis Applauds New National Standards for Prophylaxis of Venous Thromboembolism in Surgical Patients

Performance Measures Are Designed to Improve the Safety of Surgical Care

BRIDGEWATER, N.J., Feb. 1 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Sanofi-aventis today applauds the National Quality Forum (NQF) performance measures aimed at reducing venous thromboembolism (VTE), or blood clots, in surgical patients. VTE is a serious complication after major surgery. It affects more than 900,000 Americans each year and claims up to 300,000 lives annually -- more than breast cancer and AIDS combined.

VTE includes deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and its complication, pulmonary embolism (PE). The NQF measures require hospitals to order appropriate prophylaxis for surgical patients and ensure that they receive prophylaxis within the 24 hours before to 24 hours after surgery.

"We have the knowledge and the proven therapies needed to reduce the risk of dangerous blood clots in patients at risk," said Joseph A. Caprini, MD, Louis W. Biegler Professor of Surgery, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL. "These new measures are a significant step forward, because they require hospital administrators, doctors and nurses to make prophylaxis a routine part of caring for surgical patients."

Sanofi-aventis is committed to raising the level of DVT awareness. The company supports a consumer awareness campaign called, "DVT Blood Clots: Know The Stats. Know Your Risk" which encourages the public to assess their risk for DVT. For more information and a free risk-assessment kit, visit http://www.dvt.net or call 1-866-MY-DVT-RISK.

The development of the National Consensus Standards for Prevention and Care of VTE, a project led by the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission is funded by sanofi-aventis.

About Deep-Vein Thrombosis and Pulmonary Embolism

DVT refers to thrombus (blood clot) formation in the main veins, most commonly in the lower extremities. Pulmonary embolism (PE), a feared complication of DVT, occurs when the clot dislodges from its leg source, and moves into the lungs, blocking blood circulation through this vital organ. PE is regarded as a serious complication, at times fatal. Patients with fatal PE often die soon after it occurs, before medical treatment can be started. Therefore, adequate prevention is the preferred approach.

Individuals 40 years and older undergoing a major surgical intervention are at risk for VTE. Additional risk factors may increase further the risk. These include advanced age, prior episode of VTE, familial predisposition, cancer, and the type of surgical procedure, particularly hip or knee replacements. It is important for you to consult your healthcare provider about the signs and symptoms associated with DVT.

About sanofi-aventis

Sanofi-aventis is one of the world's leading pharmaceutical companies. 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 ).


Source: sanofi-aventis

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