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‘How hospitals can reduce blood clot deaths’


A recent study has demonstrated how thrombosis claims more lives than Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), breast and prostate cancer and motor vehicle crashes combined. Thrombosis is the formation of a blood clot, known as a thrombus, within a blood vessel. It prevents blood from flowing normally through the circulatory system.

According to the study, worldwide, one in four people die from causes related to thrombosis, and the main concern is that many people are not aware of this condition.

However, as part of efforts to combat the growing incidence of death due to thrombosis in Nigeria, Sanofi, a pharmaceutical company, organised a scientific conference aimed at updating Nigerian healthcare practitioners with the management of the condition to ensure a reduction of deaths in the country.


A professor of haematology, School of Medicine University of Benin, Omolade Augustina Awodu, at the event, said it is important to raise awareness because of its high rate of morbidity and mortality. She added that the condition sometimes occurs without symptoms, unrecognised, misdiagnosed and untreated or under-treated.

Speaking on “Overview of Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Disease Burden in Nigeria: How Hospitals Can Reduce The Risks”, Awodu noted the imperative of VTE as a medical condition worthy of attention. She noted that acutely ill medical patients especially, surgical cases, are the most vulnerable to VTE.

The expert said the risk of VTE is increased by obesity, malignancy, history of VTE, immobility and hereditary or predisposition to developing thrombosis. “This risk is also affected by the nature and duration of the operation, type of anesthesia, dehydration, sepsis, varicose veins and hormone therapy,” she said.The haematologist said that one in four deaths are from causes related to blood clots, stressed that VTE is also the number one cause of preventable deaths in hospitals.

“Many of these deaths are sudden and from undetected disease. Some of these events and deaths could be prevented given the availability of effective VTE prophylaxis.”Awodu said VTE also has its socio-economic burden, as patients would need to spend more days in the hospital, resulting in extra treatment costs and reduction in hospital bed space available for other patients.

The expert harped on the need for VTE risk assessment policy for all hospitalised patients in the hospitals so that people at risk could get appropriate prophylaxis because hospitalisation is linked to about 60per cent of venous thromboembolism cases.Also, cardiologist at the Bayero University Kano and Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State, Prof. Mahmoud Sani, said it is important for patients on admission to undergo risk assessment for VTE to prevent sudden death.

He added that risks should be documented and discussed with the patient and thrombo-prophylaxis offered, also patients on admission should be reassessed 24 hours after admission and every time the clinical situation changes.

General Manager and Country Chair, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Pharm. Folake Odediran said they focused on driving VTE awareness, capacity building for healthcare practitioners, partnerships with health care associations and providing innovative treatment and prophylaxis options.Odediran also said the company has unveiled a new Clexane brand of Enoxaparin sodium, 20mg, 60mg and 80mg Stock Keeping Units (SKUs) into the Nigerian market for the treatment of VTE.She added that 70 per cent of Hospital Associated-VTE cases are preventable through appropriate prophylaxis stressed that appropriate prevention of HA-VTE can result in a significant reduction in overall VTE occurrence, thereby decreasing unnecessary deaths.


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