Preventing hospital-acquired blood clots

This leaflet explains more about blood clots, which can form after illness and surgery.

A hospital-acquired blood clot occurs in patients when they are in hospital and up to ninety days after a hospital admission. There are two kinds:

1. Deep vein thrombosis (DVT): a DVT is a blood clot (also known as a thrombosis) that forms in a deep vein, most commonly in your leg or pelvis. It may cause no symptoms at all or cause swelling, redness and pain.

2. Pulmonary embolism (PE): If a clot becomes dislodged and passes through your blood vessels it can reach your lungs, this is called a PE. Symptoms include coughing (with blood stained phlegm), chest pain and breathlessness. Health professionals use the term venous thromboembolism (VTE), to cover DVT and PE.

If you develop any of these symptoms either in hospital or after you go home, please get medical advice immediately.

Preventing hospital-acquired blood clots icon

Preventing hospital-acquired blood clots

File type: application/pdf Review date: February 2018