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Patients urged to ask about the risk of blood clots

A campaign's been launched to make hospital patients aware of the risk of developing a blood clot while they're recovering.

Research has shown most people associate blood clots - or thrombosis - with travelling by aeroplane. But two-thirds of blood clots occur in hospital or in the three months after leaving. Carole Green reports.

Blood clots: who is at risk?

Everyone can develop a blood clot, but there are certain groups that are more at risk.

They include people who are:

  • over 60
  • overweight
  • receiving treatment for cancer
  • pregnant
  • undergoing serious surgery
  • suffering from ongoing medical conditions.

People are 10 times more at risk of developing a blood clot when being treated for a serious illness in hospital, but around 70 per cent of cases could be avoided with preventative treatment.

Click here to find our more about the 'Ask about Clots' campaign.

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Fitness not always a factor in clot risk

Wyndham Thomas suffered his first blood clot after he fell off his bike fracturing his pelvis in 1984. He told ITV News that when he started having back pains and difficulty breathing doctors said it was kidney stones.

It was only when he coughed up a clot that he was told clots were a possibility due to the nature of his injury. He said that it doesn't matter how fit you are, you can still develop clots.

Higher risk of blood clots in hospital than during flight

Around 62 per cent of people in Wales believe they are more likely to develop a clot - also known as thrombosis - on an plane than in hospital. But the risk can be 1,000 times higher in hospital than during a flight.

It's an important message for both patients and NHS Wales staff. Most people associate developing a thrombosis with flying. However, two thirds of blood clots occur in hospital or in the 90 days following discharge.

That's why it's so important for patients in hospital to ask for an assessment for blood clots and for their families to also be aware to ask on their behalf if necessary.

'Ask about Clots' will also encourage our healthcare professionals to be more aware of the risks and ensure all patients are assessed. Thrombosis is a condition that can be prevented.

– Dr Simon Noble, medical director for Lifeblood in Wales

Hospitals are being encouraged to use a special check list to evaluate a patient's risk of developing a clot. Wearing leg stockings, taking small doses of blood thinning medication and keeping mobile can all help prevent clots.

We need to highlight the very real danger of thrombosis, which is why the 'Ask about Clots' campaign is very important.

It has the potential to save many lives by encouraging patients and their families to talk to doctors and health professionals. It means more people will received the necessary treatment to prevent thrombosis.

– Mark Drakeford AM, Health Minister

New campaign aims to reduce blood clot deaths

It's estimated that around 1,250 patients in Wales are at risk of dying from blood clots develop in hospitals. Credit: ITV News

A new national campaign is being launched today in a bid to reduce the number of hospital patients dying from blood clots. 'Ask about Clots' aims to encourage more patients to ask healthcare professionals about their risk of developing a blood clot, so they can be given preventative treatment.

Research has estimated that around 1,250 people are at risk of death every year in Wales from blood clots that they may develop while in hospital.

The campaign was developed by Public Health Wales' 1,000 Lives Improvement service and supported by thrombosis charity, Lifeblood.

Measles: Remaining unvaccinated 'not worth the risk'

Public Health Wales has warned that the continuing spread of measles is 'very concerning', adding that it is 'simply not worth the risk' to remain unvaccinated.

This is a potentially nasty infection that can easily be prevented with a safe, effective vaccine and we would not see measles in Wales if enough children and young people were vaccinated.

Uptake of the MMR vaccine in small children is the highest it’s ever been in Wales but we still have a large number of children and teenagers aged 10 to 18 who are not vaccinated.

Our message to them and their parents is that they are at risk from an infection that hospitalised 88 people earlier this year in Wales and killed one person.

– Dr Jörg Hoffmann, Consultant in Communicable Disease Control for Public Health Wales

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Three new cases of measles reported in latest outbreak

Parents are still being urged to get their children vaccinated as a fresh outbreak of measles continues Credit: Klaus Rose/DPA/Press Association Images

Three new cases of measles have been reported in the Neath and Swansea area.

There are now 39 confirmed cases in the latest outbreak, which has affected four schools in the region.

Yesterday Public Health Wales and three local health boards published their report into the biggest outbreak of measles in Wales since the introduction of the MMR vaccination.

It said a 'get tough' approach was needed to stamp out the illness, which it described as 'very serious'.

Over 1,202 people have contracted measles since November last year, with one fatality and 88 hospitalised.

Cardiff school to reopen following legionella discovery

A new Cardiff school which closed after just three days due to the presence of legionella bacteria will reopen tomorrow.

Eastern High, dubbed a 'super school', brings together 1,500 pupils from the former Rumney and Llanrumney high schools.

Eastern High will reopen to all pupils tomorrow, Wednesday, September 18.

The school was closed last week in order for essential maintenance work to be carried out following the discovery of legionella bacteria during a routine test at the school.

The work is now complete and the school can now reopen.

We apologise for the inconvenience this caused.

– Eastern High School statement

Legionella closes Eastern High in Cardiff for fourth day

Eastern High School closed last Thursday following the discovery of legionella bacteria Credit: ITV News

A new 'super school' in Cardiff will remain closed again today following the discovery of legionella bacteria on the site.

Eastern High School, which shut on Thursday, had only been open three days before a routine test found the bacteria that causes Legionnaires' Disease on the site.

Public health officials say that there is a low risk to health and the school is expected to reopen tomorrow.

Eastern High brings together 1,500 pupils from the former Rumney and Llanrumney high schools.

On its website, the school says that pupils in Years 7 and 11 are taking lessons at nearby Llanederyn High School, while work is being posted on the school's website for Years 8,9 and 10 to follow.

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