Spending time in the hospital can be a challenge for many reasons, and one of those challenges is an increased risk for blood clots. Hospitalization – particularly involving surgery, trauma, or immobility due to a serious illness or injury – is a major risk factor for blood clots. About half of the 900,000 blood clots that occur in the United States each year are a result of hospitalization or surgery.
While the development of blood clots in people who are severely ill with coronavirus or COVID-19 is not fully established or understood, people with more severe infection with the novel coronavirus seem to have a higher risk of experiencing a blood clot, especially when other risk factors are present. This is an important observation that is being shared by healthcare professionals around the globe, but they also emphasize that the risk for blood clots increases for any person who is critically ill or who spends an extended amount of time in the hospital.
It is important to know that being in the hospital places you at increased risk for the development of a dangerous blood clot, and it is important to know that there are steps you can take to protect yourself.
If you or someone you know is spending time in the hospital due to COVID-19, or for any other reason, it’s crucial to understand that you could be at increased risk for a blood clot. Share your medical history, including any personal or family history of blood clots, with your doctor or medical team and make sure a plan is in place to help prevent blood clots when you are in the hospital and when you return home. Blood clots are a major cause of preventable hospital death in the United States, so it is important to have a plan: Blood Clot Prevention Plan Checklist. Also make sure you discuss your blood clot risk factors with your doctor and be able to recognize blood clot signs and symptoms.
Learn more about preventing hospital-related blood clots here: Hospitalization and Blood Clots.
To read more about the COVID-19 pandemic, please click here.