National Thrombosis Week 2023

Date published:

It’s National Thrombosis Week and we’re supporting Thrombosis UK to raise awareness of venous thromboembolism (VTE). VTE is an umbrella term for deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism.

1 in 20 people will have a VTE at some time in their life and this can be a significant cause of mortality, long term disability and long-lasting ill-health problems – many of which are avoidable.

We asked Thrombosis UK CEO, Jo Jerrome about the important work her organisation does to prevent these events from occurring.

What does Thrombosis UK do?

Thrombosis UK is a UK registered charity dedicated to raising awareness of thrombosis, provide information and support to all those affected by or at risk of blood clots and work to extend understanding of thrombosis through research and education for healthcare and allied professionals.

Working with all stakeholders, the charity shines a light on the prevention of blood clots and evidence based practice to improve management of clots so that patients are protected. Our aim is that avoidable clots are prevented but should a clot occur, it is quickly detected, diagnosed and managed.

What does it mean when we ask people to ‘Think Thrombosis’?

Thrombosis is common, potentially deadly and frequently has a life-long impact on individuals diagnosed with a blood clot. The challenge is that the “classic” presentation with abrupt onset of chest pain, shortness of breath, and low oxygen in the blood is rare.

Studies of patients who die unexpectedly of pulmonary embolism reveal that they complained of nagging symptoms often for weeks before death related to pulmonary embolism. 40% of these patients had been seen by a doctor in the weeks prior to their death.

To prevent avoidable clots and make an early/prompt diagnosis, we need to THINK thrombosis – if we don’t think about clots, we will not prevent them and we will miss early opportunities to diagnose and save lives.

What actions can patients take to prevent VTE?

Being aware of risk factors, and especially of your own risk factors is really important in helping you to avoid and protect yourself from thrombosis.

Staying mobile and well hydrated are everyday actions we can all take to help reduce personal risk.

Knowing risk factors is important and if you are admitted into hospital, talk through risk factors and how these can be reduced, with your healthcare provider.

NHS Resolution’s new resource on VTE

We documented 687 closed claims relating to VTE injuries between 1 April 2012 until 31 March 2022. The sum of total damages was just less than £24 million.

We’ve created a resource that details the common signs and symptoms of VTE and actions that clinicians can take to help prevent a VTE from occurring. It also contains illustrative case studies to help educate clinicians and prevent similar events happening to patients, families and staff in the future.

Click the image to view the resource

Find out more about NHS Resolution’s work on Venous thromboembolism.

Visit Thrombosis UK’s website.

See other recent publications and resources from NHS Resolution.