The National Institute for Health and Care Excellent (NICE) has published draft guidance on reducing the risk of venous thromboembolism (VTE) or blood clots in patients who are admitted to hospitals or mental health units.
The guidance updates the 2010 guideline and outlines simple steps than can prevent VTE in patients thus saving lives. It is aimed at health staff and patients who are about to be admitted to hospital.
The guideline recommends that all medical patients who are admitted to hospital are assessed to identify the risk of VTE and bleeding. It also makes recommendations about which drugs and aids, such as embolism stockings, are effective.
The guidance identifies particular patient groups, such as those having head and neck surgery, varicose vein surgery or lower limb amputation and pregnant women and women who have recently given birth, as being important to assess for their risk of VTE and bleeding.
Patients who are discharged with VTE prophylaxis treatment should be given written and verbal information on the importance of using and continuing the treatment for the recommended time.
The draft guideline is open for public consultation until 15 November 2017.
The failure to diagnose an embolism in a patient can have fatal consequences and may lead to a claim for medical negligence.
Medical negligence lawyer Sanja Strkljevic welcomed the recommendations, she said:
“By considering the relatively simple steps outlined in this guidance, and assessing patients for the risk of VTE, lives are likely to be saved. I welcome this latest update from NICE.”