Product News and Recalls

Research: Blood clots greater danger than hospital infections

Although many patients are worried about a hospital-acquired infection, blood clots are a far greater danger during a hospital stay, UPI reports.

The report cites British research concluding that hospital-acquired venous thromboembolism, or blood clot, kills more people than breast cancer, road traffic accidents, HIV/AIDS and Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, a hospital-acquired infection, combined.

The report says venous thromboembolism includes deep vein thrombosis, or a large clot in the leg; and pulmonary embolism, which occurs when a clot travels to the lungs with potentially deadly consequences.

Risk factors include immobility, acute illness, major and orthopedic surgery, malignancy, pregnancy, increasing age and obesity, according to UPI.

Use of birth control pills is another acknowledged risk factor for blood clots. But while most birth control pills can increase the risk of blood clots, a number of studies show that pills containing the synthetic hormone drospirenone can increase that risk up to three times compared to other birth control pills on the market.

Pills with drospirenone include Yaz, Yasmin, Beyaz and Ocella.

Study leader Dr. Lorraine McFarland of the University of Birmingham said that hospital-based venous thromboembolism is largely preventable by compression stockings, and small doses of anti-coagulants could reduce the 32,000 deaths that occur each year from the condition in Britain.

The report quotes McFarland as saying: “Poor public knowledge of venous thromboembolism, which is largely confined to blood-clots associated with air travel, is not surprising when the risk is also underestimated by hospitals, who continue in failing to provide appropriate clot-preventing drugs. What is even more surprising is the lack of appreciation of these risks among healthcare professionals.”

Patients should consult their doctors before making any changes in their medication. A consultation with a Beyaz lawyer is also important if there are significant injuries while on Beyaz or similar birth control pills.