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Knowledge of deep vein thrombosis among intravenous drug misusers

  • Karen Williams (a1) and Emma Abbey (a2)
Abstract
Aims and Method

All patients attending the local supervised drug consumption clinics were surveyed over a month. They were asked via a questionnaire to list the risks of injecting drugs, particularly the symptoms and consequences of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Of 69 patients surveyed, 46 agreed to take part.

Results

Only 9 patients (20%) had never injected drugs, whereas 16 (43%) of those injecting had injected into the groin; 10 patients (22%) had experienced a venous thrombosis themselves, and 35 (76%) knew of someone who had. Only 30 (65%) knew what a clot or thrombosis was. Pain and swelling were the most commonly reported symptoms, but few drug misusers knew of other symptoms. The best informed were those who had experienced thrombosis themselves recently.

Clinical Implications

The results indicate an apparent lack of basic knowledge about the risks of DVT in this sample of drug misusers, and a need for some new initiatives to address health education in this area for all drug misusers.

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Copyright
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC-BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
References
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Baldeweg, S. E. (2000) Injecting drug use is a major risk factor for deep vein thrombosis. BMJ, 321, 1018.
Gloucestershire Partnership Trust (2001) Harm Reduction (Advice About Safer Drug Use). Gloucester: Severn Enterprise.
Linnell, M. (2003) Going In The Groin: Injecting in the Femoral Vein. Manchester: Lifeline Publications.
MacKenzie, A. R., Laing, R. B. S., Douglas, J. G., et al (2000) High prevalence of iliofemoral venous thrombosis with severe groin infection among injecting drug users in North East Scotland: successful use of low molecular weight heparin with antibiotics. Postgraduate Medical Journal, 76, 561565.
McColl, M. D., Tait, R. O., Greer, I. A., et al (2001) Injecting drug use is a risk Williams & Abbey Knowledge of deep vein thrombosis in drug misuse factor for deep vein thrombosis in women in Glasgow. British Journal of Haematology, 112, 641.
Roszler, M. H., McCarroll, K. A., Donovan, K. R., et al (1989) The groin hit: complications of intravenous drug abuse. Radiographics, 9, 487508.
Williams, P. G., Ansell, S. M. & Milne, F. J. (1997) Illicit intravenous drug use in Johannesburg – medical complications and prevalence of HIV infection. South African Medical Journal, 87, 889891.
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BJPsych Bulletin
  • ISSN: 0955-6036
  • EISSN: 1472-1473
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Knowledge of deep vein thrombosis among intravenous drug misusers

  • Karen Williams (a1) and Emma Abbey (a2)
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