Make sure you ask your consultant or doctor if you have had your VTE assessment.
Blood normally flows quickly and uninterrupted through our veins. Sometimes however, clots can form that either reduce the blood flow or stop it completely.
A deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot in a deep vein, usually in the leg or pelvis. The common cause is when you are immobile - for example not moving around as much as you usually do when you are unwell or recovering from an operation. Long-term discomfort and swelling of the ankle and calf can occur in some people following a DVT. This is called post-thrombotic syndrome.
A pulmonary embolism (PE) is when all or part of the DVT becomes dislodged and travels back to the lungs. The clot then gets stuck in the blood vessels of the lung. This can be fatal.
DVT and pulmonary embolism together are known as venous thromboembolism (VTE).
It is estimated that about 1 in 1,000 people have a DVT each year in the UK.
Many people think that going on a long flight is the biggest risk factor for suffering a VTE. Unfortunately, the risk of you getting a blood clot in hospital is far greater than that from a long-haul flight.
Just being admitted to hospital with an illness carries a 15% chance of developing DVT. Having surgery carries a 30% chance of developing a DVT unless you have preventative treatment.
Most DVTs and PEs can be prevented. On admission to hospital, patients have their risk for VTE assessed and, if necessary, preventative measures put in place. We will also assess if any of the preventative measures may not be suitable for you.
As with any treatment, there is the possibility of developing adverse effects. Please talk to a nurse, doctor or pharmacist if you think the treatment is causing you any problems.
Every patient admitted to our hospitals needs to be VTE assessed. Feel free to ask your doctor or nurse what is being done to reduce your risk of VTE, if this has not already been discussed with you, or if you would like to know more about possible side effects of the treatment.
09051 Prevention and Treatment of Venous Thrombo-embolism (VTE) 5.0 (April 2019)
EIDO patient information leaflet - Reducing your risk of developing a blood clot