Dec 5, 2009 12:47 PM by Jamie Smith

The risk of blood clots after surgery is greater

The risk of us getting blood clots after surgery is far greater and lasts for longer than was previously thought, according to new research. A study of nearly 950,000 women showed surgery patients were 70 times more likely to develop a clot than someone who hadn't had an operation.

As a day case patient having a routine procedure to test his heart, Michael Ibbetson didn't realize he was at risk at potentially life threatening blood clots. Back home, having difficulty breathing he became an emergency case. "I didn't know I'd got blood clots, I collapsed, I fainted, I called an ambulance and they came and they found in fact that my oxygen level was very very low in my blood." Michael Ibbetson, a patient, said.

Although the risk of blood clots after surgery was known and the use of special compression stockings is recommended, a new study shows the risk lasts much longer than was thought.

A study of nearly a million women found that surgery patients are 70 times more likely to develop clots in the first six weeks after an operation than those who having have surgery. The risk is greatest three-to-four weeks after the procedure.

An estimated one in 140 middle aged women who have surgery will be readmitted to hospital with blood clots within three months of the operation. Experts say the dangers must be reemphasized.

Dr. Ander Cohen, a Vascular physician, says that "Venus thrombosis or blood clots in the veins and the lungs are the commonest preventable cause of death after hospitalization and this is a much more common cause of death than hospital acquired infection. Hospital acquired thrombosis kills probably 20 times more people yet people are aware of infection, not thrombosis so much."




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