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Venous Thromboembolism

Venous thromboembolism (VTE), is a condition in which unwanted blood clots form in the body. These blood clots can sometimes lead to serious health conditions or even death. Patients admitted to the hospital are at increased risk for this condition, especially if they have surgery or stay in the hospital for a long time.

Risk Factors

VTE risk factors, presentation and morbidity may differ among races, ages, and gender. Some risk factors are unique to race (e.g. sickle cell trait in African Americans) while some to gender (e.g. pregnancy and postpartum)


VTE remains a serious and frequently fatal condition. It is the most common preventable cause of hospital death.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), nationwide approximately 100,000 patients with VTE die each year. Between 30–50 percent of patients who develop lower extremity deep vein thrombosis endure long-term swelling, pain, discoloration, and even ulcers in the affected limb. In addition, between 10–30 percent of patients who survive a first VTE occurrence will likely develop another VTE within five years.

The CDC reports that the costs associated with health care-associated VTE exceed $5 billion each year, and as many as 70 percent of these cases are preventable. The costs savings of reducing VTEs is significant.

The Hospital and Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania, in the Hospital Improvement Innovation Network (HIIN) VTE project, provides tools and support, and facilitates collaboration to help facilities prevent VTEs.

HIIN Accomplishments

The most recent data shows a 13 percent reduction from baseline for the PSI-12 indicator, which is Postoperative Pulmonary Embolism or Deep Vein Thrombosis. 

HAP Contacts

For more information, contact Dawn Strawser. For media inquiries, contact Rachel Moore, director, media relations.

HAP News

January 15, 2020

Federal Attention Building to Address Social Determinants of Health

Urgency is building in Washington, DC, to advance policy to improve coordination in addressing social determinants of health, recognizing that factors such as stable housing, reliable transportation, and access to healthy foods have a direct impact on health and wellness.

January 09, 2020

WHO Designates 2020 as International Year of the Nurse and Midwife

The World Health Assembly, the governing body of the World Health Organization (WHO), has designated 2020 as International Year of the Nurse and Midwife. The celebration coincides with the 200 birthday of Florence Nightingale. It serves to raise awareness of the nursing profession and the essential role of nurses and midwives, past and present, in health care delivery across the globe.