Hospital blood clots – VTE is the collective term for DVT

New research commissioned by Boehringer Ingelheim reveals widespread ignorance of the risk of developing hospital-acquired blood clots.Patients are advised to understand the risks associated with surgery, and to not become the victim of a clot. Any patient who is going into hospital for an operation needs to know the chances of getting a killer clot, and what the consultant intends to do to:

a)       prevent a clot in the first place, and

b)       know how the medical staff will be able to detect a clot and what, in those circumstances they will do about it.

Patients are unaware of the single biggest hospital killer – VTE. Hospital-acquired clots are known medically as ‘venous thromboembolism’ (VTE), which is the collective term for deep vein thromboses (DVT) and pulmonary embolism. DVT occurs when a blood clot occurs in a deep vein, usually in the leg or pelvis, while pulmonary embolism is a serious and potentially fatal condition where one of the blood vessels in the lungs becomes blocked with a clot that has travelled from another part of the body, usually a DVT in the legs.

New research commissioned by Boehringer Ingelheim reveals widespread ignorance of the risk of developing hospital-acquired blood clots. In a study of 1,000 members of the public, not one respondent identified hospital-acquired clots as a cause for concern when going into hospital, despite it being the biggest cause of death: an estimated 25,000 deaths per annum after admission to UK hospitals. The study, published by Lifeblood: The Thrombosis Charity, also reveals that only half of those who had undergone surgery had the risk of hospital-acquired clots discussed with them.

Professor Beverly Hunt Medical Director of Lifeblood said: “This is a widespread, life- threatening problem – both healthcare professionals and the public have a part to play to ensure that this leading cause of death is prevented as much as possible. Today’s research clearly shows that there is a huge education gap concerning hospital acquired blood clots. We call for patients to engage in discussion with healthcare professionals and visit the Lifeblood website without further delay to ensure they are fully informed about the risks involved.”

A fluid that transports oxygen and other substances through the body, made up of blood cells suspended in a liquid. Full medical glossary
Blood that has coagulated, that is, has moved from a liquid to a solid state. Full medical glossary
An abbreviation for deep vein thrombosis: the obstruction of one of the deep veins, often in the calf, by a blood clot. Full medical glossary
Obstruction of blood flow by an embolus, a clot (or other material, for example, fat or air) that has become dislodged from elsewhere in the blood system. Full medical glossary
One of the three main food constituents (with carbohydrate and protein), and the main form in which energy is stored in the body. Full medical glossary
The bony basin formed by the hip bones and the lower vertebrae of the spine; also refers to the lower part of the abdomen. Full medical glossary
Obstruction of the pulmonary artery by a blood clot. Full medical glossary
The breaking away of a blood clot that is then carried in the blood from one point in the circulatory system to another point, where it lodges. Full medical glossary
A blood vessel that carries blood towards the heart. Full medical glossary
Relating to the veins. Full medical glossary
ventricular tachycardia Full medical glossary