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Guidance to Spot Blood Clots in Patients Not Being Followed

According to statistics provided by the NICE (National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence) over 10,000 lives could be saved by hospitals assessing patients for the risk of developing blood clots as soon as they are admitted to hospital.

It is estimated that each year 25,000 people who are admitted to hospital die from preventable venous thrombosis (blood clots in the leg and potentially fatal clots which travel to the lung).

This led to the Department of Health highlighting the need for action to address what has been described this “silent killer”, and new guidelines were brought out in January 2010.

These guidelines advise that all patients should be screened for clot risk however, a BBC report on the 10th May 2011 has highlighted that doctors are not following the guidelines. The report is backed up by the analysis of The Department of Health data, which shows that just 30 percent of the UK’s 159 Hospital Trusts in England are meeting the mandatory goal to risk assess 90 per cent of patients admitted to hospital.

Under the NICE Guidelines, patients should be offered a range of treatments to reduce the risk of blood clots such as anti-embolism stockings and drug treatment if shown to be at risk. The cost of these preventative measures being more than off set by the saving in respect of claims by victims and their families of these preventable injuries.

If you wish to know anything more about this issue please contact the Clinical Negligence Department at Lanyon Bowdler