Hospital trust recognised for national excellence in preventing fatal blood clots


Staff at Southampton’s teaching hospitals have been nationally recognised for leading the fight to prevent fatal blood clots.

Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust has become one of 14 sites across the UK to be awarded ‘exemplar status’ by the Department of Health for its thrombosis policy.

Every year, around 25,000 people die from venous thromboembolism (VTE) - a condition in which a blood clot forms in a vein in the leg, limiting blood flow and causing swelling and pain.
Pieces of these clots can break off and become lodged in the lungs, causing pulmonary embolism (PE), but deaths from PE are preventable.

An individual's risk of developing a thrombosis depends on several factors, with hospitalisation, particularly following a surgical procedure, a major contributor alongside age, obesity, surgery, chronic illness and immobility.

In order to minimise risks to patients, SUHT's thrombosis committee produced guidelines that ensure every patient is carefully assessed for their risk of thrombosis and the most appropriate measures are taken to prevent this complication, including offering the most modern available drugs.

David Warwick, consultant orthopaedic surgeon and lead clinician for thrombosis, said: “Our team has strived for excellence in this area and we are so proud now to be awarded exemplar status. 

“We have worked through all the complex issues and the very detailed evidence to make sure that our patients have the safest and most effective prevention for this complication.”

Posted on Monday 1 February 2010