Hospitals warned over blood clots

 

Hospitals are putting patients' health at risk by failing to test for blood clots at an early stage, according to the healthcare watchdog.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (Nice) said many lives could be saved if medics diagnosed and treated blood clots in the legs and lungs more quickly.

It also said diagnosis and treatment of the condition, know as VTE or venous thromboembolism, is patchy and varies significantly across the country.

Nice is advising hospitals in England and Wales to offer blood tests and an ultrasound scan within 24 hours of a patient reporting possible symptoms.

Blood clots in the legs or lungs affected more than 56,000 people in England last year with hospital patients being particularly susceptible because they are in bed for long periods.

Clots in the legs can cause long-term pain, severe swelling and disability, and can be fatal if they dislodge and travel to the lungs.

Hospitals in England are already obliged to check all patients for the risk of developing blood clots.

The advice has been welcomed by the thrombosis charity Lifeblood, which helped develop the guideline.

Medical director Beverley Hunt said: "This is a major advance in improving the quality of care patients receive. It sets a clear standard of care."

Health Minister Simon Burns said: "Already the NHS has dramatically increased screening for venous thromboembolism (VTE), from around just 50% in September 2010 to a world first of 90% by December 2011, leading to better treatment and outcomes for patients suffering this serious and frightening condition.

"However, despite this improvement, we know more can be done in reducing the variation in VTE treatment.

"We expect the NHS to reduce this variation by following this Nice guidance. VTE may have a number of different causes, which means that clinicians treating VTE patients have an excellent opportunity to identify other health problems at an early stage.

"I hope that encouraging clinicians to link VTE and cancer will lead to improvements in the diagnosis of both diseases."

PA

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Web Development Manager

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: Service and Installation Engineer

    £22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: SEO / Outreach Executive

    £20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is a global marketin...

    Recruitment Genius: Junior Estimator

    £17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

    Day In a Page

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?