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Blood clot diagnosis and care subject to NHS postcode lottery

Published on 27/06/2012

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says that blood clot diagnosis and care is subject to an NHS postcode lottery.

NICE has stated that hospitals in England and Wales are testing for blood clots too late, risking long-term health problems and endangering lives.

The watchdog is now urging hospitals in England and Wales to offer blood tests and an ultrasound scan within 24 hours of symptoms being reported- ideally within four hours.

Blood clots in the legs or the lungs affect more than 56,000 people in England last year. Clots in the leg can cause long-term pain, severe swelling and disability, and if they dislodge and travel to the lungs they can be fatal.

Diagnosis and treatment of VTE or Venous Thromboembolism is said to vary significantly across the country. Some patients have to wait until Monday morning for a test if they came in on a Friday night.

Professor Gerard Stansby, chairman of the guideline development group, said: "The NHS should be offering a seven-day-a-week service.

"It's not acceptable any more for people to have to wait over the weekend to get these tests in hospital."

Hospitals are also being urged to test everyone over the age of 40 who gets a clot in the leg or lungs to see if they have cancer, because VTE can be a side effect of the disease.

Every year about 4,000 people with or without private medical insurance are found to have cancer after being hospitalised with deep vein blood clots. The cancer checks will include a physical examination, blood and urine tests and a chest x-ray.

The advice has been welcomed by the thrombosis charity Lifeblood, which helped develop the guideline. Medical Director, Beverley Hunt said: "This is a major advance in improving the quality of care patients receive.”

© ActiveQuote Ltd. 2012

Categories:  MedicalNHS and Hospitals
Blood clot diagnosis and care subject to NHS postcode lotteryThe National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) says that blood clot diagnosis and care is subject to an NHS postcode lotte    tweet it on twittershare with your friends on Facebookshare with your friends on MySpaceBlog it on your LinkedIn profile

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