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Time to tackle a killer disease

From Malcolm Miller, chief executive, The London Clinic

In 2005, the Commons Health Select Committee raised concerns over the number of deaths of hospitalised patients as a result of venous thrombo-embolism.

Every year in the UK around 25,000 patients die from this disease – more than breast cancer, road accidents and HIV/AIDS combined.My concern is the length of time it's taking for the Government to address the issue and then develop and implement clinical guidelines (now expected to be released next week by NICE).The truth is that preventive measures are largely straightforward and simple. Under London Clinic's thrombosis service, all patients undergo a risk assessment upon admission to assess a patients risk of developing VTE both during and after surgery. Those patients then identified as at risk are offered appropriate preventive measures.While I am delighted to hear new guidelines will ensure this high level of care is to be offered to all patients, I just hope the process can be speeded up to prevent more unnecessary deaths.

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