Apr 222014
 
Dr Simon Noble

Dr Simon Noble

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.

Ask about Clots Infographic 3 Parts Continue reading »

Apr 072014
 
Ruth Hussey

Lloyd Evans

Clots. A word many have heard of, but I wonder how many understand the effect this five-letter word has on the health and wellbeing of our population.  The answer according to the Ask about Clots campaign launched last week: not enough!

As a final-year medical student approaching the start of a career within the NHS, I attended the launch of Ask about Clots with the realisation that in a little over four months, this topic would well and truly be hitting me square in the face.  Despite years of lectures, tutorials, and clinical attachments, I was taken aback by the facts: Continue reading »

Apr 032014
 
Ruth Hussey

Dr Ruth Hussey, OBE

Today sees the launch of the Ask about Clots campaign, which I believe will play a significant role in reducing the numbers of people dying as a result of thrombosis.The new campaign, developed by 1000 Lives Improvement, is encouraging patients and members of the public to ask healthcare professionals about their risk of developing a thrombosis. This is particularly important as new research indicates that 62% of people in Wales believe they are more likely to develop thrombosis on an aeroplane than in hospital. The reality is that the risk is a thousand times greater for hospital patients.

In Wales, it’s estimated that every year 1,250 people who receive hospital treatment could die from a thrombosis that developed during or shortly after their hospital stay. A large percentage of these thrombosis-related deaths are preventable.

We know that behind every statistic lies a story. Michelle, from North Wales, has recorded a video interview about her daughter, Claire. At the age of 22, Claire collapsed and died of a pulmonary embolism.

Michelle is supporting the Ask about Clots campaign to raise awareness of thrombosis. She believes that if she had been more aware of the dangers of thrombosis, things could have been very different.

Claire had been unwell for a while, and had outlined her symptoms to doctors. However, the first time thrombosis was mentioned was in the coroner’s report. In the video, Michelle says, “If I had known what I know now and forced the issue for this to be checked, she would still be with us.”

We hope that Ask about Clots will help more people understand the risks of thrombosis, and be alert to it. This will lead to clinical staff and patients working in partnership to reduce the risk of thrombosis.

Encouraging people to Ask about Clots is therefore a great example of ‘co-production’ in healthcare. When people are informed and participating in their healthcare, we would expect to see improved health outcomes.

I am pleased to see the support for this campaign from healthcare professionals. We need to be ready to respond to patients when they ask about it so that they can be correctly assessed and the appropriate life-saving interventions provided.

Find out more at www.askaboutclots.co.uk

Dr Ruth Hussey, OBE, is the Chief Medical Officer for Wales. Find her on Twitter at @CMOWales

Read the report from the one day inquiry into thrombosis in hospitals