Healthcare-Associated Blood Clots: Minimize Your Clots

Healthcare-Associated Blood Clots: Minimize Your Risk


Healthcare-Associated Blood Clots: Minimize Your Clots [PDF – 374 KB]


Title: Healthcare-Associated Blood Clots: Minimize Your Clots

The Problem
Healthcare-associated venous thromboembolism (blood clots) is a significant, deadly, costly, and growing public health problem.
Prevention Can Save Lives
Proven ways to prevent blood clots from occurring during or after a healthcare encounter exist, but not all hospitals and healthcare facilities have put these prevention strategies into practice or use them routinely.

  1. Learn the Lingo About Blood Clots
  • Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT):
    Blood clot located in a deep vein usually in the leg or am.
    Pulmonary Embolism (PE):
    Blood clot that has traveled from a deep vein to the lung.  PE can be deadly.
    Venous Thromboembolism (VTE):
    DVT and PE are also known as VTE.
    Healthcare-Associated VTE (HA-VTE):
    A DVT or PE that occurs as a result of hospitalization, surgery, or other healthcare treatment or procedure.
  1. Blood Clots Are Costly

Costs due to healthcare-associated blood clots exceed 5 billion dollars per year

  1. Blood Clots are Deadly and a Significant, Growing Public Health Problem
  • Blood clots affect as many as 900,000 Americans each year leading to approximately 100,000 premature deaths.
  • 50% of blood clots are healthcare-associated.
  • Although there are many reasons a person might develop a blood clot, about half of them are directly related to a recent hospitalization or surgery and most of these do not occur until after discharge.
  1.  Healthcare-Associated Blood Clots Are Avoidable: Prevention is Key
  • As many as 70% of healthcare-associated blood clots are preventable.
  • However, fewer than 50% of hospital patients receive appropriate preventive treatment.
  1.  What You Can Do To Help Prevent Healthcare-Associated Blood Clots
  • Before surgery or hospitalization ask your healthcare provider:
  • Am I at risk for a blood clot?
  • Do I need preventive treatment to keep me from having a blood clot?
  • Upon discharge ask your healthcare provider:
  • What can I do to continue to prevent blood clots from developing once I’m home?
  • What are the signs and symptoms of a blood clot?
  • What should I do if I think I have a blood clot?
  • At home:
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for preventing blood clots; take medicine as prescribed.
  • Move your arms and legs to help prevent blood clots from forming.
  • Call your doctor if you think you have a blood clot.