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NHS programme cuts hospital blood clots by a fifth

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The lives of patients at risk of developing hospital-associated blood clots are being saved by a national prevention programme, according to the results of a new study.

‘Hospitalisation’ can be followed by blood clots, or venous thromboembolism (VTE), causing thousands of deaths in the UK every year.

But implementing the national VTE prevention programme at London’s King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust resulted in 20% less hospital-related blood clots, results show. There was also a 40% cut in events linked to inadequate preventative treatment.

The programme includes an analysis of all hospital-associated blood clots to pinpoint problems, assess outcomes and help improve prevention.

Professor Roopen Arya, the national programme’s clinical lead led the work at King’s College Hospital. He said: “This has been one of the biggest quality and safety improvement initiatives I have witnessed in the NHS and the huge achievement of colleagues across healthcare deserves acknowledgement.”

Professor Arya said the latest data showed that nearly 95% of all patients now underwent a VTE risk assessment when they were admitted to hospitals.

He added: “It is pleasing that we have been able to show this has resulted in improved outcomes for patients and it is very important that we build on this and develop a national registry of hospital-associated thrombosis so we can gather data from all hospitals as well as share the learning and improve practice.”

Healthcare professionals can now use NHS England’s newly launched website, which hosts resources from the VTE prevention programme.

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