NHS staff from across the country learnt more about how they can improve the number and quality of hospital assessments for blood clots at a special event put on by specialists at Salisbury District Hospital.
Immobility, combined with short or long term disease, 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 thromboembolism (VTE) and can affect around 1 in 2000 people each year in the community.
All hospitals should have systems in place to see whether patients are at risk of developing VTEs while in hospital. Assessments enable staff to identify low and high risk patients and ensure that each patient is given the right level of treatment to prevent clots forming.
Salisbury District Hospital is an ‘Exemplar’ site and is in the forefront nationally on VTE prevention. This was one of a number of events that the hospital has put on to share best practice and help other hospitals learn from the work carried out at Salisbury District Hospital.
Tamara Everington, Consultant Haematologist said: ". While it’s important that we assess the risk factors for each patient, we mustn’t forget that there are responsibilities for all of us and greater awareness of the danger of VTEs is key. The main message of the day was that close team work and the use of simple language gets the best results for our patients."
" VTE is common in patients who are in hospital because they are ill or require surgery. All patients can help to reduce their own ‘clot risk’ by drinking plenty of water and doing regular simple leg exercises. Patients at high risk will need blood thinning treatment and possibly special leg stockings as well."
More follows:Dr Everington added: "Getting the balance right in clot prevention requires close team working. We see our patients as being at the heart of this team. If a patient or a member of the family is admitted to hospital, we would ask them to talk to us about their risk of a clot so that we can advise on the best prevention for them."
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.
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.
Staff at Salisbury District Hospital are putting on a number of events to share best practice. A DVD has been produced at Salisbury District Hospital that can be used locally and nationally as a teaching aid for patients and staff.
For further information please contact:
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Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust.
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Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, Salisbury District Hospital, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP2 8BJ
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