This survey aimed to assess the conceptualization of and utilization of blood stasis syndrome within traditional East Asian medicine among Doctors of Korean Medicine (DKMs). A survey was conducted with 22 questions classified into four categories (the present status, problems and requirements of a BSS diagnosis; the concept, diseases and prescriptions regarding BSS; the present status and problems with the Korean standard classification of diseases (KCD) relevant to BSS and the demographic characteristics of the survey respondents). A total of 17,550 DKMs affiliated with the association of Korean medicine were sent surveys via e-mail. Of the 678 respondents, more than half (53%) had difficulties with the diagnosis of BSS because objective measurement methods were not readily available. Most respondents (88%) thought that the development of an objective diagnostic method for BSS was necessary. Regarding the concept of blood stasis, "an abnormal mass in organ and tissue" considered the most significant indicator, followed by extravasated blood, the blood circulating sluggishly and a disorder of the blood cells. According to 606 DKMs, a traumatic injury was the most frequent reason for BSS in the clinic. And the Dangkwisoo-san was most frequently mentioned prescription for BSS in the clinic. The majority of respondents (76%) reported that it was necessary for an additional code of BSS in KCD. Our data suggest the need to develop more objective diagnostic tools for BSS diagnosis. Future research into BSS should consider DKMs' perceptions of BSS, diseases relevant to BSS and KCD codes. However, we cannot completely discount the possibility that the low response rate could indicate a biased selection of respondents and limit the interpretations of our study results.
Keywords: Blood stasis; survey; traditional East Asian medicine; traditional Korean medicine.