December 18, 2018 – Blood Clot Prevention

December 14, 2018

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Anchor lead: Why do patients in the hospital refuse blood clot prevention medicine? Elizabeth Tracey reports

Blood clots are a big problem for hospitalized patients, and can result in death. Yet in more than one in ten circumstances medicines to help prevent blood clot formation aren’t given. Elliott Haut, a trauma surgeon at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues decided to find out why.

Haut: A huge proportion of these patients don’t get every single dose of these medications. And the number one reason for that is patients refuse. About 12% of doses aren’t administered. So we went and talked to patients and talked to nurses, and there were two main reasons: patients didn’t realize how important it was and the nurses really didn’t realize how important it was, and the communication between the two often led to these doses not being administered. Missing those doses is associated with getting these bad blood clot events.  :32

Haut says education for physicians is already known to be effective, so now both nurses and patients are being educated as well. He says it’s early to say how well these efforts will work in preventing clots, but says missed doses are down. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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