New guidance on the prevention of venous thromboembolism in hospital patients seeks to address, in detail, a wide range of circumstances.
The up-dated guidance addresses the treatment of medical and surgical patients - and specifically addresses care of patients discharged with lower limb devices, including plaster casts and braces, suggesting that pharmacological prophylaxis should be considered.
It has been published by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence this month and is based on recommendations developed by the National Guideline Centre, which is hosted by the Royal College of Physicians.
The guidance applies to patients aged 16 or over and sets out how all patients should be assessed for risk of venous thromboembolism and of bleeding. It also sets out how anti-embolism stockings should be used and explained when patients are discharged.
The guidance includes the care of patients attending for day procedures, including cancer treatment and surgery.
It also includes care of pregnant women, and women admitted to hospital after giving birth.
The guidance says that these women should be screened on admission for risk of venous thromboembolism and of bleeding. The risk should be reassessed for all women within six hours of giving birth, having a miscarriage or termination of pregnancy it says.
It should also be reassessed if their clinical condition changes, it says.
A spokesperson for the Royal College of Physicians said the guidance "aims to help healthcare professionals identify people most at risk of VTE and describes treatments and interventions that can be used."
Source: Royal College of Physicians
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