Utah doctor to help develop new guidelines for treatment of blood clots

Posted at 9:44 PM, Feb 18, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-19 20:47:09-05

A local doctor is part of a select group of physicians invited to develop new guidelines used by doctors worldwide to diagnose blood clots.

Dr. Scott Stevens at Intermountain Medical Center says the new guidelines are needed to ensure clinicians are using the most advanced information.

"It's a massive area of medicine to try to keep up with. it's endlessly gratifying to see the changes that occur," said Stevens. "We provide step-by-step instructions to physicians for using the most efficient, accurate and safe methods to diagnose blood clots."

Stevens' research focuses on the most accurate and most efficient methods of determining whether patients have blood clots. He says rapid treatment is crucial to preventing potentially fatal complications; clots have the ability to travel to organs like the heart and brain.

"They affect about 2 million people every year which can be quite dangerous. They can leave the legs and go to the lungs, which is a condition called pulmonary embolism. We believe about 300-thousand people a year in the US die from pulmonary embolism," said Stevens.

He says helping diagnose patients correctly and in a timely matter is very gratifying.

"There's nothing more gratifying to see a patient come in with a life-threatening disease and be accurately diagnosed and treated and go on to do very well after that," said Stevens.

Stevens will write the new guide for treating the diagnosis of deep vein thrombosis in The Journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.