How to prevent blood clots: 10 stories, studies, tips and tricks from this year

According to CDC estimates, as many as 900,000 people are affected by blood clots each year in the United States. Although serious, this medical condition is both preventable and treatable, if discovered early.

To help discover new and increase the use of blood clot-preventing strategies, the CDC recently asked hospitals, health systems and other provider organizations to share their best practices. A panel of judges will evaluate the submissions and choose winners, who will be recognized as National Healthcare-Associated VTE Prevention Champions.

Submissions for the competition are being accepted from Nov. 2 through Jan. 10, 2016. Winners will be announced in March of next year.

Here are 10 more stories or studies on blood clots covered by Becker's Hospital Review this year.

1. CDC challenges hospitals to share VTE prevention strategies
The CDC asked hospitals, health systems and other provider organizations to share their best practices for preventing healthcare-associated blood clots, or venous thromboembolism, as a way to discover and increase use of such strategies.

1. 5 Illinois hospitals, health systems awarded for quality improvement programs
Elgin-based Presence Saint Joseph Hospital received a Quality Excellence Achievement Award from the Illinois Hospital Association Institute for Innovations in Care and Quality for reducing its VTE rates by 87 percent through new care guidelines and an early mobility program.

2. Did a medical device company forge a document to receive FDA approval?
An NBC News investigation revealed that a blood clot filter manufactured by device company C.R. Bard may be associated with more than two dozen deaths and hundreds of complications. Additionally, one of the forms submitted to the Food and Drug Administration to obtain device approval may have been forged.

3. Peripherally inserted central catheters come with risk of lower-limb blood clots, study finds
A study published in The American Journal of Medicine found that peripherally inserted central catheters carry with them a potential complication of blood clots in not only upper extremities, but lower extremities as well.

4. Johns Hopkins: Blood clot penalties may be unfairly imposed
Financial penalties imposed on Maryland hospitals based solely on the total number of patients who suffer lung or leg blood clots should be re-evaluated, according to research from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.

5. Patient safety tool: Video, handout on blood clot prevention
The Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality published a video and handout aimed at helping patients better engage in preventing blood clots.

6. Dr. Peter Pronovost: Dangerous blood clots tend to fly 'under the radar' in hospitals
Blood clots that occur in hospitalized patients are "under the radar" at most hospitals, despite being potentially deadly, Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD, director of the Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety, explained in a blog post.

7. VTE rates unchanged despite increase in use of prevention therapies
Blood clots after colorectal surgery rarely happen, and the rate of VTE incidence has remained unchanged even though clinicians are increasingly using pre- and post-surgical prevention therapies, according to a report in JAMA Surgery.

8. Study shows real-time feedback improves physician practice, quality
Physicians completing blood clot risk assessments show a notable improvement in compliance when real-time access to compliance rates is linked with financial incentives, according to a study conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins University.

9. Longer surgeries increase risk of VTE, study shows
When compared with a surgery of average duration, patients undergoing longer procedures had a considerable increase in odds of developing VTE compared to the shortest procedures, according to research published in JAMA Surgery.

10. Post-stroke blood clot removal may improve recovery: 5 things to know
Two studies revealed that a blood-clot removing procedure improves patients' likelihood of recovering from a stroke more so than administering clot-busting drugs.

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