Assessing your risk of blood clots

When you arrive at hospital, you should be checked for your risk of blood clots. Hospital staff will record your age and weight and ask you about your general health. The assessment will also take into account the reason for your hospital stay.

Your risk of clots is likely to be higher, for instance, if you're having a major operation, if you're going to be confined to bed for long periods, or if you have any of the other "risk factors" mentioned above.

If the assessment shows that you're at risk of a blood clot, you should be offered preventative treatment. The options include blood-thinning medication ( anticoagulants ) and compression stockings orfoot pumps to keep your blood circulating and help prevent any clots forming.

Hospital staff should check whether bleeding might be a problem before offering medication to help prevent clots.

If you've been admitted to hospital and you haven't had your blood clot risk checked, it's important that you ask a doctor or nurse. Equally, if you've been told you're at risk of clots and have been given medicine, stockings or other devices, it's important that you understand how to use them properly.

Don't be afraid to ask hospital staff about reducing your risk of blood clots it could save your life.

Questions you might like to ask your healthcare team about blood clots are:

  • am I at risk of blood clots?
  • how likely am I to have bleeding problems?
  • what happens if I have problems with a medication or treatment I am having to help prevent clots?
Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 21 Dec 2018