Healthcare-associated blood clots : minimize your risk
Published Date:September 22, 2015
Corporate Authors:National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (U.S.). Division of Blood Disorders. ; ;
Description:The Problem: Healthcare-associated venous thromboembolism (blood clots) is a significant, deadly, costly, and growing public health problem.
Prevention Can Save Lives: Proven ways to prevent blood clots from occurring during or after a healthcare encounter exist, but not all hospitals and healthcare facilities have put these prevention strategies into practice or use them routinely.
1. Learn the Lingo About Blood Clots
• Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): Blood clot located in a deep vein usually in the leg or am.
• Pulmonary Embolism (PE): Blood clot that has traveled from a deep vein to the lung. PE can be deadly.
• Venous Thromboembolism (VTE): DVT and PE are also known as VTE.
• Healthcare-Associated VTE (HA-VTE): A DVT or PE that occurs as a result of hospitalization, surgery, or other healthcare treatment or procedure.
2. Blood Clots Are Costly
Costs due to healthcare-associated blood clots exceed 5 billion dollars per year
3. Blood Clots are Deadly and a Significant, Growing Public Health Problem
Blood clots affect as many as 900,000 Americans each year leading to approximately 100,000 premature deaths.
50% of blood clots are healthcare-associated.
Although there are many reasons a person might develop a blood clot, about half of them are directly related to a recent hospitalization or surgery and most of these do not occur until after discharge.
4. Healthcare-Associated Blood Clots Are Avoidable: Prevention is Key
• As many as 70% of healthcare-associated blood clots are preventable.
• However, fewer than 50% of hospital patients receive appropriate preventive treatment.
5. What You Can Do To Help Prevent Healthcare-Associated Blood Clots
Before surgery or hospitalization ask your healthcare provider:
• Am I at risk for a blood clot?
• Do I need preventive treatment to keep me from having a blood clot?
Upon discharge ask your healthcare provider:
• What can I do to continue to prevent blood clots from developing once I’m home?
• What are the signs and symptoms of a blood clot?
• What should I do if I think I have a blood clot?
• Follow your doctor’s instructions for preventing blood clots; take medicine as prescribed.
• Move your arms and legs to help prevent blood clots from forming.
• Call your doctor if you think you have a blood clot.
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