Department of Health and Social Care
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New report will help reduce Venousthromboembolism (vte) in hospitals

New report will help reduce Venousthromboembolism (vte) in hospitals

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH News Release (2007/0091) issued by The Government News Network on 19 April 2007

Every hospital patient should have their own risk assessment for VTE that will improve patient safety and help save thousands of lives each year, says an expert working group whose report was launched by the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) today.

Venousthromboembolism (VTE) is a set of complications that includes blood clots in veins that can break off. In England around 25,000 people a year die from VTE in hospitals alone.

The CMO asked an expert group to look at VTE in hospitalised patients and how VTE could be prevented to save lives. The Group has now reported with its recommendations.

Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer said:

"VTE has been seen as a Cinderella issue for too long. This report enables clinicians to make the best choices for their patients and to ensure that we make real progress in saving thousands of lives every year".

It is clear from the expert group's report that introducing a VTE risk assessment for all patients on admission has the potential to save thousands of lives every year. We have therefore established an implementation working group which will develop a national risk assessment tool, and will also provide leadership both within the NHS and the wider healthcare sector in order to assess what needs to be done to ensure that a VTE risk assessment of every patient on admission to hospital becomes a reality.

VTE is an international problem. This country is a pioneer in this area and can also provide leadership to other nations on this matter.

Lord Hunt said:

"Patient safety is my top priority. I have asked the implementation group to report back to me regularly on their progress in this vital work. We must do everything we can to ensure that patients are not placed at unnecessary risk from VTE."


Notes to Editors

1. For enquiries please contact 020 7210 4850.

2. VTE comprised deep vein thrombosis (DVT) pulmonary embolus (PE), the related sequelae of post-thrombotic syndrome (PTS) and pulmonary hypertension (PH).

3. Sir Muir Gray, Director of the National Library for Health, says the tool will be developed and made available as part of the NHS Choices Programme. The tool would be the VTE risk assessment recommended by the expert group, and which would be developed by the implementation working group.

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