Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is still a threat to hospital patients due to poor public awareness of the condition, one expert has warned.
Specialist nurse Tracy Graham said many members of the public know that long-haul flights increase the risk of deep vein thrombosis.
But this means the danger of developing a blood clot during a hospital stay remains widely unknown, she added. Publicity surrounding the risk on flights prevents medical experts from raising awareness of VTE among patients, Ms Graham said.
The nurse, who works at Southampton General Hospital, made the comments ahead of National Thrombosis Week. She said many people are unaware of the ways they can protect themselves from thrombosis, such as staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.
Hospital patients should also be able to ask medical staff about receiving a full risk assessment for VTE, Ms Graham added.
She said: “Although there are many things patients can do to help themselves, health professionals play a major role in combating this problem and there are strict guidelines for hospitals to follow to limit the risk of thrombosis in patients, so I do urge people to ask questions about their assessments.”