By Michael Wong, JD (Founder & Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
In observance of Blood Clot Awareness Month, this article is not about 10 things or 7 ways or even 3 methods for preventing blood clots. I thought that I would make it super easy by distilling what needs to be done to just 1.
Every 6 minutes in the US, someone dies from a blood clot!
According to the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, not all patients are receiving appropriate VTE prophylaxis – only 32-59% of patients are receiving appropriate prophylaxis.
A survey conducted by the National Blood Clot Alliance found significant gaps in the application of VTE prophylaxis in patients that were hospitalized more than 3 days:
Data from NBCA’s online survey of 500 patients who had been hospitalized for >3 days, show that less than one-third of respondents report DVT prophylaxis with either an anticoagulant pill or anticoagulant injection, even though more than 40% of them report that they had a family member who previously had a blood clot in the leg or lung, and 15% say they had a personal history of a blood clot in the leg or lung. DVT prophylaxis reported by respondents include: 63% ambulation, 39% compression stockings, 37% mechanical compression, 37% aspirin, 29% anticoagulant injection, and 28% anticoagulant pill.
So, what’s the 1 thing you can do?
For Blood Clot Awareness Month, Make Sure Appropriate VTE Prophylaxis Has Been Prescribed
And, for those who want more than just 1, here are 2 more things you can do to observe Blood Clot Awareness Month:
If your patient is a maternal patient, please use the OB VTE Safety Recommendations.
The OB VTE Safety Recommendations were developed with the advice and counsel of a panel of experts brought together by PPAHS. The Recommendations provide four concise steps that:
- Assess patients for VTE risk with an easy to use automated scoring system
- Provide the recommended prophylaxis regimen, depending on whether the mother is antepartum or postpartum.
- Reassesses the patient every 24 hours or upon the occurrence of a significant event, like surgery.
- Ensures that the mother is provided appropriate VTE prevention education upon hospital discharge.
To download a copy of the OB VTE Safety Recommendations, please click here.
If your patient is a stroke patient, please use the Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations.
The Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations were developed by a group of leading neurological health and patient safety experts brought together by the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety, the Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations incorporate the latest research.
The Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations provide four concise steps that:
- Assess all admitted patients with a stroke or rule out stroke diagnosis for VTE risk with an easy to use checklist.
- Provide the recommended prophylaxis regimen, which includes the use of mechanical prophylaxis and anticoagulant therapy.
- Reassesses the patient every 24 hours, prior to any surgical or procedural intervention or change in the patient’s condition.
- Ensure that the patient is provided appropriate VTE instructions and information upon hospital discharge or transition to rehabilitation.
The Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations can be viewed by clicking here.