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.
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.
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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