Recent Hospital Stays

and Lowering Risks for Life-Threatening Blood Clots

Senior woman waits in a hospital room while teen granddaughter looks on with care.

Why is hospitalization linked with higher blood clot risks?

  • Roughly 50% of life-threatening blood clots happen within three months of a hospitalization, surgery or traumatic injury.
  • Hospital patients at the greatest risk are:
    • Those with limited ability to move
    • People with previous history of blood clots
    • Patients age 60 and older
    • People who have abnormal blood clotting conditions
    • Patients who have spent time in intensive care (ICU) or coronary care unit (for heart problems)

How can I lower my risks during and after a stay in the hospital?

Keep moving

Move around when you are able to or as encouraged by your healthcare provider.

Take Prescribed Medication

If you have a high risk of a blood clot and a low risk of bleeding, a low-dose, “blood-thinning” medicine may help.

Perform Simple Exercises

Even simple exercises like foot extensions can help to improve blood flow and lower risks.

Consider Compression

Use graduated compression stockings or massaging compression devices if recommended by your healthcare provider.

Know The Symptoms

Learn to recognize the symptoms of a dangerous blood clot and speak up if you notice anything that concerns you.

Learn more about the symptoms of dangerous blood clot or VTE.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Questions

More than one risk factor?

Any time you may have overlapping risks,
be sure your healthcare provider are aware.

Image of hispanic woman doctor talking with patient, downloadable guide is featured as overlay

Discover life-saving facts about symptoms, prevention and treatment of blood clots at heart.org/VTE.