Doctors Orders for Blood Clot Prevention

Doctors orders for blood clot prevention

Reading Hospital percentages displayed in this graph reflect discharges during second quarter 2011. State and national rates from the US Department of Health & Human Services are for discharges between October 2009 and September 2010.

Why is this important?

Certain types of surgery can increase the risk of blot clots forming in the veins. This is because patients don't move much during and, usually, after some surgeries.

Venous thrombosis is a condition in which a blood clot (thrombus) forms in a vein. This clot can limit blood flow, causing swelling, redness, and pain. Most commonly, clots occur in the legs, thighs, or pelvis.

If part or all of the clot breaks off from where it was formed, it can travel through the veins. The part that breaks off is called an embolus. If the embolus lodges in the lung, it is called a pulmonary embolism, a serious condition that can cause death.

A number of factors can increase a patient's risk of developing blood clots, but doctors can order preventive treatments call prophylaxis to reduce the risk. Prophylaxis may include blood thinning medications, elastic support stockings, or mechanical air stockings that promote circulation in the legs.

Our approach to improving performance:

We are participating in the Surgical Care Improvement Project (SCIP), a national initiative which allows us to adopt practice guidelines to provide the best care possible. Our multidisciplinary healthcare team meets regularly to review the SCIP data and take necessary actions to improve our care.

We monitor and review every surgical case to assure that evidence-based guidelines are followed, and we follow up directly with our physicians. This step has been incorporated winto our surgical checklist procedure.