62% of people in Wales believe that air travel is the main cause of blood clots, according to research we worked on for the Ask about Clots campaign. And it’s a damaging misconception – because there is a far greater risk of develop a clot when in hospital.
In fact, you are 1000 times more likely to develop a clot during or in the 90 days following hospital treatment. That’s why the misconception is a fatal one, because blood clots can cost lives.
Through my work with Lifeblood, we’ve tried to raise awareness that blood clots are the most common cause of preventable hospital deaths. And the more people know about clots, the more likely it is we’ll be able to prevent them.
It has been great to work with 1000 Lives Improvement in developing the Ask about Clots campaign. I was proud to attend and help launch it in the Senedd earlier this month. Guests heard from a variety of speakers, and a powerful story about the effects of clots from Michelle Martin, who sadly lost her daughter to a blood clot when she was just 22. They were then asked to help in spreading the campaign’s message throughout Wales.
And that’s because within Ask about Clots, there is something inherently collaborative: the idea that patients and healthcare professionals should be working together to prevent blood clots. By patients asking to be assessed for their risk of clots, they are playing an active role in their healthcare.
It is breaking down the “us” and “them” idea between the people who are carrying out the treatment, and the people who are being treated. Instead, the responsibility lies with both.