Concerns have been raised about the number of people dying in hospital due to preventable blood clots.
The issue was first raised in 2005 when a report found some 25,000 people died annually as a result of a preventable clot. The problem was recently highlighted once again, this time by the Welsh Assembly’s health committee which has discovered 900 people in Wales died because of hospital acquired blood clots in 2010. This is more than the deaths due to breast cancer, MRSA and HIV combined. If this wasn’t worrying enough, experts have said the figure of 900 is likely to be an underestimate, as it can be difficult to recognise a blood clot as a cause of death.
The assembly’s health committee also discovered that nearly 70% of these deaths could have been avoided had the proper preventative measures been put in place. There are detailed guidelines written by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) which clearly state how a hospital acquired clot can be avoided. This involves assessing every patient who is admitted and administering blood thinning medication to those considered to be at risk.
However, assembly members on the health committed have said that doctors are “routinely ignoring” these guidelines. Committee chair Mark Drakeford AM also raised concerns “that assessment methods are not just inconsistent across local health boards in Wales but can be inconsistent across different departments within the same hospital.”
Patients Are Not Receiving “Appropriate Care”
Dr Simon Noble, medical director for Wales for Lifeblood: The Thrombosis Charity, emphasised how patients are not receiving the appropriate care: “Patients go in to hospital to be cured. They don’t go in to hospital and expect to pick up a life-threatening condition.”
But unfortunately it seems that this is exactly what is happening: patients go to hospital in order to receive treatment for an illness, but because of poor standards of care end up suffering a blood clot – something which can have serious (and sometimes fatal) results. This is all the more devastating by the knowledge that such as blood clot could have been avoided with very simple preventative measures.
If this has happened to you or your loved one, please do not suffer in silence. If you have been harmed because medical professionals failed to fulfil their duty of care to you, you will be entitled to financial redress. This means that you will be able to bring a claim against the NHS Trust responsible for your injuries and, if you are successful, will ensure you are properly compensated for your damages. To find out more, you need to speak to 1stClaims, medical negligence solicitors.