In early September of 2010 started the announced days dedicated to the project VEDOSS (Very Early Diagnosis Of Systemic Sclerosis) presented during the first World Congress on Systemic Sclerosis held in Florence in February 2010.
The doctors at this meeting agreed on the importance of very early diagnosis of the disease that can, in many cases, prevent and slow down, with appropriate treatment, the course of the disease. The projects will provide, through the Videocapillaroscopy, a wide-ranging non-invasive screening, to identify early signs of a possible development of the disease.
The Videocapillaroscopy can give immediate results: the signals which show Raynaud’s phenomenon or swollen fingers, will be followed by further investigations on the presence of antinuclear antibodies.
The Vedoss days were coordinated by the doctors of the Reference Center in Florence that organized 4 days of free screenings in 4 different towns of Tuscany (Florence, Montecatini Terme, Pescia and Pistoia). The initiative has been supported by the University Hospital of Florence and even from different patient groups and association, like ASSMaF, and found wide acceptance and enthusiasm. The visits took place on a motor home, equipped as a clinic, which made stops in the central squares of the places mentioned above.
The volunteers of the patient association have worked together with the physicians giving a fundamental contribution to the success of the event. They arranged workstations, equipped with a desk for the first contacts with the public, distributed informational material about the disease and supported the work of doctors.
All the days were preceded by press releases, articles from local newspapers, radio and television interviews that informed other medical colleagues in order to help them in the diagnosis of that patients who already presented the typical “cold hands”. The data collected during these Vedoss days “in the streets” were immediately recorded after the single examination and those people, who showed suspicious signs related to the disease, were invited to further detailed laboratory investigations. Many people came and wanted to get screened and a large number of leaflets about the disease were distributed to the participants. The creation of a dedicated Vedoss Center at the University Hospital Careggi in Florence allows the physicians to follow patients through Videocapillaroscopy screening and other investigations in the early stages of the disease.