The Map of Medicine has published a new pathways for the prevention of Venous Thromoembolism (VTE) in hospital patients, which is responsible for approximately 25,000 deaths in the UK each year.

The new pathway should help support the Department of Health’s national policy that all patients admitted to hospital in England should receive a risk assessment for VTE.

Venous thromboembolism includes the conditions deep vein thrombosis – when a clot forms in a vein, usually in the leg – and pulmonary embolism – which occurs when a blood clot that has formed in a vein breaks off and lodges in the lung.

The new patient pathway includes essential information for the prevention of VTE. It is now available online to NHS staff in England and Wales via the Map of Medicine; a web-based, visual representation of evidence-based patient care journeys covering 28 medical specialties.

It will also be made available to patients on Map of Medicine Healthguides, which are accessed via the NHS Choices website.

The new VTE prevention pathway draws upon clinical guidance from leading UK experts and the chief medical officer, who leads nationally on VTE prevention. Dr Mike Stein, medical director for the Map of Medicine said: “It will help clinicians to make appropriate decisions for individual patients on the measures required to prevent avoidable death or chronic illness arising as a consequence of hospital-acquired thrombosis.”

Dr Anita Thomas OBE, chair of the CMO’s VTE implementation working group, added: “Access to the pathways and related information on the Map of Medicine will make a significant contribution to the national VTE prevention strategy and has the potential to prevent thousands of deaths each year from venous thromboembolism – the commonest cause of avoidable death in our hospitals today.”


Map of Medicine

The Risk Assessment for Venous Thromboembolism was issued by the Department of Health for use by hospitals and is available on the Department of Health website.