New VTE Safety Recommendations Prevent Blood Clots In Pregnant Mothers: Healthcare Organizations Encourage Use of Venous Thromboembolism Recommendations to Reduce Adverse Events and Save Lives

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the National Perinatal Association are pleased to announce the release of safety recommendations targeting the prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in maternal patients.

These recommendations address a critical patient issue, according to Frank Federico, RPh  (Executive Director at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and Patient Safety Advisory Group at The Joint Commission).

According to Mr. Federico, “These recommendations focus on prevention measures that can easily be adopted and used by healthcare facilities to prevent VTE and help ensure that delivering mothers go home safely with their babies.”

The health and well-being of mothers and infants is central to the efforts of the National Perinatal Association. MaryAnne Laffin, NP, CNM, FACNM (Immediate Past President, National Perinatal Association) says that pregnant mothers need to understand the added risk of VTE that pregnancy and delivery by cesarean section brings. In addition, they need to be aware of this risk not only antepartum or prior to delivery, but that this risk continues upon discharge and up to one month post partum.

“The risks of VTE are 4-5 times higher for pregnant women than for non-pregnant women,” says Ms. Laffin. “Women not only need to know of the added risk of blood clots during pregnancy, but that this risk increases following cesarean birth. Following c-section, the risk of VTE is almost two times higher. For the safety of pregnant women, the National Perinatal Association therefore encourages all hospitals to adopt these VTE safety recommendations.”

The OB VTE Safety Recommendations were developed with the advice and counsel of a panel of experts brought together by the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety. They provide four concise steps that:

  1. Assess patients for VTE risk with an easy to use automated scoring system
  2. Provide the recommended prophylaxis regimen, depending on whether the mother is antepartum or postpartum.
  3. Reassesses the patient every 24 hours or upon the occurrence of a significant event, like surgery.
  4. Ensures that the mother is provided appropriate VTE prevention education upon hospital discharge.

Says Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety), “I am extremely grateful for the time and effort of each and every member of the expert panel. Their clinical review, suggestions, and comments through countless drafts was invaluable to forging a high quality tool identifying four VTE assessment/prevention steps that we hope will be used by all hospitals caring for pregnant women.”

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety is planning to assess the impact of the recommendations in practice with six or more hospitals across the United States, and is currently seeking funding to complete this task.

For a copy of the OB VTE Safety Recommendations, please click here for a “checkable” version and here for a pdf version.

About The Institute for Healthcare Improvement

IHI is a leading innovator in health and health care improvement worldwide. For more than 25 years, we have partnered with an ever-growing community of visionaries, leaders, and front-line practitioners around the globe to spark bold, inventive ways to improve the health of individuals and populations. Together, we build the will for change, seek out innovative models of care, and spread proven best practices. When it comes to raising the quality of health for all, IHI sees boundless possibilities and while we see the walls in front of us, we will not rest until we reach the other side. Learn more at

About National Perinatal Association

The National Perinatal Association (NPA) gives voice to the needs of pregnant women, infants, their families and healthcare providers by bringing to together stakeholders that collectively, can have the greatest positive impact on perinatal care in the United States. We accomplish this through convening partners and stakeholders, facilitating multidisciplinary information and education sharing and advocating for integrated policy solution that benefit all.  To learn more visit


The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) is an advocacy group dedicated to improving patient health and safety. PPAHS seeks to advance key patient health and safety initiatives that significantly impact patient lives and to do so in a prescriptive and practical manner by endorsing and publicizing health expert opinion that is supported by healthcare organizations and medical societies, surveying healthcare professionals to determine current practices and using these responses to encourage improvement, sharing best practices to encourage their spread and adoption, developing safety checklists and recommendations, and advocating for the adoption of standards to help eliminate adverse events. For more information, please go to

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