Hundreds of lives could be saved in Wales if guidance to prevent blood clots was always adhered to in hospitals, according to a National Assembly committee.
An inquiry by the Health and Social Care Committee found that established guidelines to prevent venous thromboembolism (VTE) in hospitals were 'routinely ignored'.
The Committee heard:
- Approximately 900 deaths in Wales in 2010 were due to - or associated with - hospital-acquired blood clots or thromboses
- This figure is substantially higher than the combined number of people who died from MRSA, breast cancer or AIDS in Wales during the same year
- Up to 70 per cent of such deaths could have been avoided had appropriate preventative measures been put in place
The Committee found that the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) had published guidelines in 2010, based on advice from medical experts, which recommended a risk assessment be carried out on each patient.
But the Committee also found that these guidelines were often ignored.
The Committee's report makes five recommendations, including establishing a standard procedure to record and reduce cases of hospital-acquired thrombosis, and raising awareness of the risks through a public education campaign.
The Welsh Government says it welcomes the report and will 'carefully consider' its conclusions and recommendations.