Blood Clots, Practices & Tips

Blood Clots Can Happen with Anyone, Don’t Think It Can’t Happen to You or Your Loved One Know Your VTE Risk Factors on World Thrombosis Day 2019

In celebration of World Thrombosis Day 2019, here are four much-watch videos on the need to assess all maternal patients for the risk of VTE and to provide the recommended prophylaxis treatment, depending on whether the mother is antepartum or postpartum.

Blood Clots Are Preventable in Pregnant Mothers

Blood clots are preventable in pregnant mothers, but to make this happen, all maternal patients need to be assessed for the risk of DVT and, if the patient is found to be at risk, the patient must be provided the recommended prophylactic treatments. In this video, Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director) discusses PPAHS put together an expert panel to develop the OB VTE Safety Recommendations. He encourages all maternal patients to be assessed and treated for VTE.

Blood Clots Can Happen to Anyone

The greatest risk is thinking that blood clots will not happen to you or your loved one. Blood Clots can happen to anyone. To emphasize this point, Mr. Wong discusses what happened to Amber Scott.

More than six weeks after giving birth, Amber Rabalais Scott held her daughter Adeline Elizabeth in her arms for the first time – a milestone that the family and many friends of the 30-year-old Slidell, La., woman won’t ever forget.

Amber’s story is both heartbreaking and heart-lifting—and it illustrates the very real risk of blood clots that new and expectant mothers face. According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), blood clots can block blood flow and cause organ damage. Known as venous thromboembolism (VTE), it is a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in the US.

On May 22, 2012, her husband Tommy came home from work and found her unresponsive. After he called 911, emergency workers rushed his pregnant wife to Slidell Memorial Hospital. There, after determining that Amber had a blood clot in her brain, doctors performed an emergency caesarian section, and Adeline was born, 6.5 pounds, healthy and beautiful.

Yet while Adeline was thriving, Amber was fighting for her life. She lay in a coma as doctors performed a series of surgeries to remove the clot in her brain. Meanwhile, her family and friends prayed that Amber would come out of the coma. Their prayers were answered in early June 2012, when Amber held up two fingers after being shown a picture of Adeline.

Cesarean Section Increases the Risks of Blood Clots

Having a cesarean section dramatically increases the risks of blood clots. In this video by Peter Cherouny, MD (Emeritus Professor, Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, University of Vermont, Chair and Lead Faculty of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Perinatal Improvement Community) discusses this heightened risk that every pregnant mother should consider before opting for a cesarean section to deliver their baby.

The rising number of cesarean sections being performed puts an increasing number of women at risk:

“In the United States, however, about one in three births happen by C-section, a rate that has risen dramatically over the past few decades, from 5 percent in 1970 and 20 percent in 1996. By contrast, about 16 percent of births in Finland and 24 percent in the United Kingdom are from C-sections.”

All At-Risk Patients Should be Given VTE Prophylaxis

All at-risk patients should be given VTE prophylaxis. This is emphasized by Dr. Cherouny in this video:

To help assess maternal patients of the risk of VTE and to ensure that they receive recommended pharmacological and mechanical prophylaxis, PPAHS put together a team of national and international experts to develop the OB VTE Safety Recommendations. These Recommendations provide four concise steps to prevent VTE in maternal patients:

  1. Assess all admitted maternal patients for VTE risk with an easy to use an automated scoring system
  2. Treat at-risk patients with the recommended pharmaceutical and mechanical therapies, depending on whether the mother is antepartum or postpartum.
  3. Reassess the patient every 24 hours or upon the occurrence of a significant event, like surgery.
  4. Discharge the patient with the appropriate VTE instructions and information.

To view and download a copy of the OB VTE Safety Recommendations, please click here.

Precision Medical Products

PPAHS would like to thank Precision Medical Products for creating these videos highlighting the necessity of assessing for and treating all maternal patients for VTE.

 

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