Treatment to prevent blood clots must be administered at the appropriate time to prevent blood clots forming after selected surgeries. Venous thrombosis is a condition where a blood clot (thrombus) forms in a vein. This clot can limit blood flow causing swelling, redness and pain. Most commonly, clots occur in the legs, thigh, or pelvis.
Why is it important?
If a part, or all, of the blood clot breaks off where it was formed, it can travel through the veins. If the embolus, the part that breaks off, lodges in the lung, it is called a pulmonary embolism, a serious condition that can cause death.
A number of factors can increase a patient's risk of developing blood clots, but his/her doctor can order preventative treatments called prophylaxis to reduce the risk. Prophylaxis may include blood thinning medications, elastic support stockings, or mechanical air stockings that promote circulation in the legs.
The chart above indicates the percentage of surgery patients that received treatment to prevent blood clots within 24 hours before, or after, certain surgeries.