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'Hidden' rise in blood clot deaths 'breaking families' warns charity

Thrombosis UK has warned that deaths involving blood clots are higher than expected as it called for more transparency over the work hospitals are doing to reduce the risk for patients.

Before the pandemic hit, hospitals were regularly publishing data on the number of patients who had been risk assessed for blood clots. In March 2020, the NHS in England took the decision to suspend the data collection on venous thromboembolism (also known as VTE) risk assessments to “release capacity in providers and commissioners to manage the Covid-19 pandemic”.

But the data collection and publication is yet to resume. The charity said the data shows how many VTE cases are missed in hospitals.

One bereaved man described how his mother died last year after the condition was missed. Tim Edwards, 42, said healthcare workers missed signs of the condition while Jennifer Edwards, 74, was in hospital on the south coast.

Despite having many symptoms of a pulmonary embolism she was discharged home and died three days later. Mr Edwards said: ““My mother’s symptoms were missed from her admission to hospital right up to her time in the cardiology department.

“She was discharged and passed away three days after phoning the NHS with shortness of breath. She should not have died. I took it upon myself to enquire about the circumstances surrounding her death and was overwhelmed by the lack of care taken.

“Sadly, I know this is not an isolated case.”

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Source: Wales Online, 12 May 2023

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