McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

McMaster provides leadership in blood treatment guidelines

Published: November 30, 2015
Mark Crowther
Dr. Mark Crowther, professor, Department of Medicine

Holger Schünemann
Dr. Holger Schünemann, professor, Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics

The American Society of Hematology (ASH), the world's largest association of clinicians and scientists dedicated to conquering blood diseases, is collaborating with McMaster University, known as a world leader in guideline development and an international authority on thrombosis, to develop clinical practice guidelines on the diagnosis and treatment of venous thromboembolism (VTE).

The partnership announcement was made in Washington, D.C. today. Clinical practice guidelines direct physicians on how to diagnose and treat a condition or disease.

"There has been a rapid proliferation of research on VTE that must be synthesized, appraised, and distilled for clinical use. As such, these guidelines are eagerly anticipated. ASH is pleased to collaborate with McMaster University on this effort," said Dr. Adam Cuker of Philadelphia, chair of ASH's co-ordinating panel for the guidelines.

VTE is a blood clotting disorder that includes both deep-vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). DVT is a blood clot that typically forms in the deep veins of the leg and can develop into PE, a life-threatening condition that occurs when the clot breaks free and becomes lodged in the arteries of the lung. VTE is a commonly encountered clinical concern for many specialties including emergency medicine, internal medicine, surgery, oncology and pharmacology.

The goal is to produce and maintain comprehensive and state-of-the-art guidelines on VTE. This year, ASH and McMaster assembled a coordination panel and 10 expert guideline development panels. After clarification of the clinical questions, McMaster experts will conduct a systematic review of available evidence. Researchers with specialized training will identify, summarize and grade the strength of the evidence. It is expected the guidelines will be published in 2017.

ASH and McMaster University will also create resources to bring the guidelines to ASH members, clinicians and patients across the globe and help users implement them in practice. ASH will also oversee the long-term maintenance of the guidelines.

"The importance of the topic coupled with McMaster's excellence in research synthesis and guideline development will create trustworthy health care recommendations that will support care providers and patients in making the best decisions for their lives," said Dr. Holger Schünemann, professor of clinical epidemiology and biostatistics. He is the principal investigator of the project for McMaster University. 

"As the world's leading hematology organization, ASH strives to enhance the quality of care for all patients with hematologic disorders," said Dr. Mark Crowther, professor of medicine and chair of the ASH Committee on Quality, which oversees ASH's guideline development efforts. "As guideline development is important to our members and vital to upholding high quality in the treatment of patients with blood disorders, ASH has invested heavily in this area to ensure we are creating guidelines of the highest standard."

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