Guest: Dr. Huyen Tran
Presenter: Henry Acosta
Guest Bio: Assoc Prof Tran completed his medical degree at Monash University and his dual fellowships in Clinical & Laboratory Haematology in Melbourne. He spent two years at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada before returning to Australia to complete his Master of Clinical Epidemiology and join the Haematology Consortium as a senior haematologist. His focus is on clinical research in haematology with particular interests in thrombotic, bleeding and platelet disorders, and obstetrics haematology.
Assoc Prof Tran was previously the Head of Laboratory Haematology at Monash Medical Centre. He was recently appointed as Head of Haemostasis & Thrombosis Unit and Director of the Haemophilia Centre, at The Alfred Hospital, and elected as President of the ASTH. He has an interest in medical education and currently oversees the Written Examination, Haematology Section for the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.
Segment overview: Highlighting World Thrombosis Day, we are joined by Dr. Huyen Tran Head of Haemostasis & Thrombosis Unit and Director of the Haemophilia Centre at The Alfred Hospital here to discuss the often overlooked and misunderstood condition of thrombosis. According to research 1 in 4 people worldwide die of conditions caused by thrombosis and bey spreading awareness, we can protect ourselves from a life-threatening blood clot. World Thrombosis Day is a global movement on 13 October that aims to increase global awareness of the causes, risk factors, signs/symptoms and prevention of thrombosis.
Health Professional Radio – World Thrombosis Day
Henry Acosta: I’m Henry Acosta and welcome to Health professional Radio. Today we’re here with Dr. Huyen Tran. He completed his medical degree at Monash University and spent 2 years at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada to complete his Master of Clinical Epidemiology and joined the Haematology Consortium as a senior heaematologist. His main focus right now is on clinical research on hematology, he’s currently the Head of Thrombosis and Haemostasis Unit at the Alfred Hospital. Today we’re here to talk about thrombosis and how it’s affecting thousands of lives around Australia. Also we’re here to help raise awareness on World Thrombosis Day which is a global movement recognized on October 13. Welcome to the show Dr. Huyen and happy World Thrombosis Day. It’s a pleasure to have you here.
Dr. Huyen Tran: Thank you for having me and happy World Thrombosis to you and to your listeners.
H: Thank you. So let’s get the interview started, for our first question can you give us any insight and can you tell us what thrombosis is?
T: Yeah, so thrombosis is essentially the abnormal formation of blood clots in either an artery or a vein and the consequence of this is it either reduces the flow of blood or completely obstructs the flow of blood to the critical organs resulting in damage to the organ to which the blood flow or from which the blood flow is going from. So there are three major contributors to thrombosis, one is a heart attack, two is ischemic stroke and three is venous thromboembolism that is blood clots in the legs such as deep vein thrombosis or pulmonary embolism or blood clots in the lungs. So the first two are pretty well known but it’s the third component, venous thrombosis which we really need more awareness for.
H: And how does thrombosis lead to other major diseases or injury?
T: Yeah, so if you developed a stroke then that where you have a blood clot in an artery to the brain then you will have the consequences of a stroke such as not being able to move one side or not being able to talk. If you have a blood clot in the heart, the coronary blood vessels then that will end up in the heart attack and that can damage the function of the heart. The last one is that if you get a blood clot in the leg, the deep vein thrombosis and more seriously if you get a blood clot in the lung then that blocks the circulation of the lung and hence you can potentially die if not treated.
H: And why do you think people do not have enough knowledge on thrombosis and its impact around the world?
T: I think its awareness that’s really is an issue, education and awareness. You’d be aware that there about up to 2 million episodes of blood clots per year around the world and one in four individuals can die from thrombosis-related disorder. So we need to do more to make people aware of these situations when they are at risk for venous thrombosis and also recognize the symptoms associated with thrombosis so that they can seek medical attention.
H: And can you explain to us what the World Thrombosis day is about?
T: So World Thrombosis Day, our main theme this year is to know your thrombosis, to really raise awareness about thrombosis because at this time we’ve found that in the US and in Europe there are more deaths due to thrombosis-related disorders than the combined deaths from AIDS, breast cancer, prostate cancer and motor vehicle accidents. So we want to make people more aware so that we can reduce this incidence.
H: And how can we support and help the cause for World Thrombosis day?
T: So be aware, listening to your show and also there is a World Thrombosis Day website which you can go to and you can actually join on site and there’s various social media on there as well so that you can join to and you’ll find in that website. There are many personal stories where people can relay what happened to them to make others more aware of this condition.
H: And what can we do as citizens to help raise awareness on thrombosis and its dangers?
T: I think that to be aware of this condition that is out there and it’s more common and I think in terms of prevention of venous thrombosis be aware when you are at high risk for example when you’re in hospital, when you’re having an operation or if you have a break of your leg or if you’re elderly and you’re worried about strokes and you need to go see your GP just to make sure that your heart rate is regular or not regular and to have the appropriate investigation so that you can be prescribed the appropriate medication to prevent thrombosis.
H: And you mentioned something about embolism a while ago, so why does thrombosis always get mixed up with embolism? What are their main defining factors?
T: Yeah, so in essence they’re really one of the same. So when you develop an abnormal blood clot it either grows but there’ll be a time when it grows in such a size that’s liable to break off and that breaking off it goes to a critical organ and that’s what we call embolization. So for example if you have a big deep vein thrombosis, that can actually break off and embolize to the lung to give you a pulmonary embolism and that’s when it’s most dangerous.
H: And what’s the most common misconception that people have about thrombosis?
T: I suspect the most common misconception is just that they’re not aware and that it’s an inconsequential disorder but in fact we now know that as I’ve said one in four people die from thrombotic related disorders so we need to make people more aware and change that statistics.
H: And for our last question for anyone who wants to contact you and for those who want to support the cause and contribute to World Thrombosis Day and to know more about thrombosis, how can they get in touch with you?
T: So a number of ways, one is the World Thrombosis Day website, two is in Australia we have the Australian Society of Thrombosis and Haemostasis and you can go to that website there asth.org.au and certainly the relevant people … interested in the condition in this field can be contacted by that site.
H: Well thanks for being on the show Huyen and thanks for helping raise awareness on World Thrombosis Day.
T: Thanks for having me.
H: Awesome and for more information listeners can head to the www.worldthrombosisday.org , again that was Dr. Huyen Tran he’s the Head of Thrombosis and Haemostasis unit at the Alfred Hospital. He was here today with us to help raise awareness on thrombosis and World Thrombosis day. If you’ve missed this interview or want to listen to it again you can find us on www.healthprofessionalradio.com.au or hpr.fm. You can also subscribe to our podcast on SoundCloud and iTunes.