Study:Hospital clot risks not always addressed

While one in three U.S. hospital patients is at risk for blood cots, many of these patients don't get clot prevention treatment, says a new study. It's estimated 5 to 10 percent of hospital deaths are due to blood clots that travel to the lungs, in some cases due to deep venous thromboembolism (a clot in the deep vein of a leg or arm common when patients are immobilized). 

According to research published in the American Journal of Hematology and sponsored by anti-coagulant maker Sanofi-aventis, perhaps half of the 100,000 deaths from pulmonary embolisms could have been prevented, according to Dr. Frederick Anderson, a research professor in the Department of Surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and director of the Center for Outcomes Research.

To draw this conclusion, Anderson and colleagues reviewed a national database of adult hospitalizations in 2003, and divided up patients according to their clot risk using guidelines from the American College of Chest physicians. After sorting through the data, the team found about 12 million of the 38 million adults hospitalized in 2003 were at risk for clots. In a separate study of 10,000 U.S. patients, Anderson found only half of patients at risk for clots got preventive treatment.

To find out more about the study:
- read this United Press International piece

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