Recent Hospital Stays and Lowering VTE Risk

mother in hospital bed holding daughter's hand

Why is hospitalization linked with higher blood clot risks?

  • Roughly 50% of life-threatening blood clots happen within three months of a hospitalization, surgery or traumatic injury.
  • Hospital patients at the greatest risk are:
    • Those with limited ability to move
    • People with previous history of blood clots
    • Patients age 60 and older
    • People who have abnormal blood clotting conditions
    • Patients who have spent time in intensive care (ICU) or coronary care unit (for heart problems)

How can I lower my risks during and after a stay in the hospital?

  • Keep moving.

    Move around when you are able to or as encouraged by your healthcare provider.

  • Take prescribed medication.

    If you have a high risk of a blood clot and a low risk of bleeding, a low-dose, “blood-thinning” medicine may help.

  • Perform simple exercises.

    Even simple exercises like foot extensions can help to improve blood flow and lower risks.

  • Consider compression.

    Use graduated compression stockings or massaging compression devices if recommended by your healthcare provider.

  • Know the symptoms.

    Learn to recognize the symptoms of a dangerous blood clot and speak up if you notice anything that concerns you.

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Know Your Risk for a Dangerous Blood Clot

A blood clot may affect anyone, but some people are at higher risk. If you are in one or more of these special risk groups, it’s important to learn how to lower your risks.

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