This site is intended for health professionals only

Clot risk “higher than expected”


People who have surgery are 70 times more likely to be re-admitted to hospital with a blood clot within six weeks of leaving than patients who did not need an operation, research shows.

University of Oxford researchers said this meant the risk of suffering a potentially fatal blood clot after surgery was higher than previously thought.

They said operations for hip and knee replacements and cancer surgery made people particularly vulnerable.

A study of more than 947,000 British women also showed people were 10 times more likely to be admitted with a clot if they had their operation as a day-case when compared with those not having surgery at all.

The risk was highest in the third week after an operation.

The study estimates that one in 140 middle-aged women having inpatient surgery will be admitted with a blood clot in the 12 weeks after surgery.

One in 45 will suffer a clot after a hip or knee replacement and one in 85 after cancer surgery, the research in the online British Medical Journal estimated.

The authors said: “These findings suggest that the risk of venous thromboembolism after surgery is greater and lasts for longer than previously thought.”

Copyright Press Association 2009

British Medical Journal

Most read

Latest Issue

Be in the know
Subscribe to Hospital Pharmacy Europe newsletter and magazine
Share this story: