May was Stroke Awareness Month, and the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) and SVS Foundation offer educational resources for Society members to provide as a resource to their patients at risk of the potentially devastating disease no matter the time of year.
The Society also has created clinical practice guidelines that evaluate the evidence in the scientific literature, assess the likely benefits and harms of a particular treatment, and enable healthcare providers to select the best care for a unique patient based on his or her preferences. SVS guidelines aid members and their patients in the decision-making process. Visit vascular.org/CPG to see the guidelines.
Patient resources include detailed information about strokes, including symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatments and prevention. In addition, SVS offers patient fliers on carotid artery disease, cholesterol, smoking and physical activity, all of which impact vascular health and disease.
As members know all too well, smoking is a major cause of strokes and cardiovascular disease leading to strokes. Physical activity, likewise, helps prevent strokes and other vascular conditions and illness.
Members can download patient education fliers from the patient-education portion of the SVS website at vascular.org, or via the members-only Branding Toolkit; those materials can be customized with a member’s name, practice and contact information. Any of the materials can then be available in members’ offices or mailed or emailed to at-risk patients.
“We all know the numbers,” said SVS President Ali AbuRahma, MD. “We know that up to 5% of people older than 65 have carotid artery disease, which increases the risk of stroke, that cholesterol is a top factor when it comes to vascular disease, and that lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and increasing physical activity are major preventive measures.
“Help your patients by helping educate them,” he said. “You never know what piece of information might make the difference and turn things around.”
The Branding Toolkit also includes condition fliers, including one on claudication, that can be customized and sent to referring physicians.