Hospital-acquired VTE (blood clots) is preventable (Schünemann et al., 2018).
One of the most important things you can do to prevent blood clots is to know if you are at risk. Some risk factors are hospitalization, surgery, pregnancy, or cancer. Other things you can do to reduce your risks and protect yourself from life-threatening blood clots include:
- Recognize the signs and symptoms of blood clots (DVT: swelling, pain, skin warm to the touch, redness; PE: difficulty breathing, chest pain, coughing, blood in sputum, rapid or irregular pulse).
- Tell your doctor if you have risk factors for blood clots.
- Before any surgery, talk with your doctor about blood clots.
- Tell your doctor or nurse if you have any symptoms of a blood clot.
- Mobilize as recommended by your health care provider.
- Don't smoke or quit smoking
How a Drawing Saved My Life: Lori's Story
In August 2014, I was overwhelmed with joy after delivering my baby boy, Jack. He was perfect, the delivery was pretty easy, and I was ready to go home. During a brief moment of quiet during his nap, I perused through the endless literature provided by the hospital. A hand drawing of a leg, with a red mark and arrow pointing to the calf describing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) struck me. I had a weird Charley horse in my leg, right in the same spot, but I thought it was no big deal. I mentioned it to the nurse, and we decided it was harmless. I went home with my bundle of joy. (Stop the Clot, nd).
Maury Lieberman's story
Maury Lieberman, National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) Board member, discusses his experience with cancer and blood clots: (Stop the Clot, 2015) Video