Published on 01/02/2010
The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence has issued new guidelines addressing the number of patients in the UK unnecessarily dying in hospital as a result of blood clots.
The report focuses on reducing the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) where blood clots block veins - in patients admitted to hospital.
Figures suggest that an estimated 25,000 people who are admitted to hospital die from preventable venous thromboembolism blood clots each year.
Mr Jonothan Earnshaw, consultant general and vascular surgeon at The Circulation Foundation, said: "As surgeons we've been aware of this problem for a long time.
"What goes on happening though is that post-mortems of people who die in hospital later find blood clots in the legs and blood clots in the lungs."
He added that making sure every inpatient is assessed for DVT risk should be priority in UK hospitals.
Options for preventative treatment include blood-thinning drugs such as heparin, anti-embolism stockings and foot impulse or pneumatic devices, which are used to improve blood flow.
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