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Monday 26th August 2019

Blood clots on wards 'kill hundreds'

10th October 2012

A report by members of the Welsh Assembly has found that hundreds of people are dying unnecessarily in hospitals across Wales due to blood clots.


The assembly’s health committee says 70% of deaths from clots acquired in hospitals could be prevented if proper preventative measures had been in place.

Figures show that 900 people in Wales died in 2010 because of blood clots, which is more than the combined deaths from breast cancer, MRSA and HIV.

Health committee members expressed concerns that doctors were not heeding guidelines which required them to assess every patient for the risk of clots and prescribe blood thinning medicines if needed.

Committee chair Mark Drakeford AM said: “We are also concerned that assessment methods are not just inconsistent across local health boards in Wales but can be inconsistent across different departments within the same hospital.”

It has urged hospitals to ensure doctors make tackling the issue a top priority.

The Welsh government said it was committed to reducing incidence of Venous Thromboembolism Prevention (VTE) incidence across Wales.

The findings were welcomed by Wales for Lifeblood: The Thrombosis Charity, which suggested the figure of 900 preventable deaths may be an under-estimate.

Medical director Dr Simon Noble said: “The benefits of preventing a hospital-acquired thrombosis is supported by a wealth of evidence.

“Trials involving thousands of patients have been conducted and have shown that this is not only highly effective but will save the health service money. It makes sense in health terms and in economic terms. It saves lives and it saves money.”


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