27 January 2010 14:13
New guidance from the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has said that all patients should be assessed for the risk of blood clots when they are admitted to hospital.
All patients admitted to Salisbury District Hospital already receive an assessment to reduce the risk of them developing blood clots while in hospital.
The assessments enable staff to identify low, high and very high risk patients and ensure that they are given the right level of treatment.
Immobility is the main cause of blood clots which can form in the veins (deep vein thrombosis) or in the lungs (pulmonary embolism). Together they are known as venous thromboembolisms (VTE) and can affect around 1 in 2000 people each year in the community. Deep vein thromobosis is less common in people under the age of 40 and more common in people over the age of 80.
Salisbury District Hospital is in the forefront nationally on VTE prophylaxis and now has exemplar status. This means that it helps other Trusts learn from the work carried out at Salisbury District Hospital and enables them to build on their systems.
Tamara Everington, Consultant Haematologist said: "Because of their condition and age, there will be periods when patients will be immobile once they have been admitted to hospital. While we encourage all patients to get up and move around as soon as they are able to do so, it's important that we know what the risk factors are for each patient. If a patient is at risk of developing a VTE , then we can tailor their treatment programme accordingly."
Dr Everington added: "The criteria that we have developed takes into account the risk of blood clots developing, in conjunction with other factors and conditions where it is possible that the patient has an increased risk of bleeding."
Notes to editors:
Blood clotting provides us with essential protection against severe loss of blood from an injury to a vein or artery. However, blood is only supposed to clot when it is outside a blood vessel, and clotting within an artery, or vein, can be dangerous.
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein. The DVT usually forms in a deep leg vein, and can cause immobility (lack of movement). Deep leg veins are the larger veins that run through the muscles of the calf and thigh. A DVT can form across all, or part, of the width of your vein, which can block your blood flow either completely or partially.
DVT and pulmonary embolisms (clots in the lungs) are conditions known as venous thromboembolisms.
Venous thromboembolisms are rare conditions with about 1 in 2,000 people, in the UK, being affected each year. DVT is less common in people under the age of 40 (less than 1 in 3,000) and more common in people over the age of 80 (up to 1 in 500).
A DVT usually develops in the calf, but it sometimes also occurs in the thigh. Occasionally, other deep veins in the body are affected. Inflammation of surface veins (superficial phlebitis) is much less serious.
For further information please contact:
Public Relations Manager
Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.
Tel: 01722 425170