Think VTE this World Thrombosis Day

13 Oct 2015 | Safe Surgery NZ

Haematologists at Auckland DHB are joining global health leaders to raise awareness of one of the world’s most preventable hospital deaths.

Venous thromboembolism, (VTE) is a condition where a blood clot forms within a vein leading to pulmonary embolism or deep vein thrombosis, both potentially fatal conditions.

Immobility is a leading risk factor of VTE, which is 100 times more likely to occur in hospital than in the community, as patients can be confined to bed for extended periods of time.

This World Thrombosis Day, haematologists are calling on patients and hospital staff to ‘Think VTE’.

Auckland DHB haematologist and obstetric physician, Dr Claire McLintock, sits on the International Steering Committee for World Thrombosis Day. “Globally, one in four deaths worldwide is related to thrombosis and here in New Zealand, research shows that over 750 hospital patients suffer every year from blood clots. People should understand hospitalisation is a leading risk factor for VTE and it is essential that we assess the risk of our patients.”

“A decision can then be made on the use of evidence-based preventative measures such as anti-clotting medication, anti-embolic stockings and early mobilisation,” added Dr McLintock.  

Auckland DHB has introduced VTE assessments into its practice for patients as part of the Health Quality and Safety Commission’s Open for Better Care campaign.

Haematologist Dr Laura Young and anaesthetist Dr Lisa Chapman helped to introduce the life-saving tools. “Six out of 10 blood clots occur in hospital and most of these are preventable. Research shows that awareness of VTE and its associated risks are still low and so we’re placing the spotlight on thrombosis today to encourage everyone to get thinking about VTE,” said Dr Young.

Auckland City Hospital will come alive around midday with promotional activity including a special World Thrombosis Day flashmob performance by doctors and hospital staff.

For more information visit the World Thrombosis Day website – www.worldthrombosisday.org

Last updated 14/10/2015