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Date: 24 September 2023

Time: 07:17

What we can do to help prevent deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism

Support stockings

If you are having an operation, you will probably be fitted with support stockings. These reduce the risk of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) by helping with the circulation of blood through the veins of the leg.

Please tell a member of staff if the stockings don't fit properly or if you have any pain, numbness or sore skin while wearing them. If you have been asked to wear support stockings at home, please wear them for the recommended time. They can be taken off and washed regularly.

If you have difficulty getting them on and off, please ask the nursing staff for advice before you leave the hospital.

Blood thinning injections

Some patients who are at increased risk of DVT and PE are given daily blood thinning injections using a type of heparin called tinzaparin (also called Innohep). These injections reduce the risk of developing a DVT or PE while you are unwell or immobile.

The nursing staff will normally give these to you while you're in hospital. If you are asked to carry on the injections at home, a nurse can teach you or a close family member how to give them, or arrange for the district nurse to give them at home or at your GP surgery.

If you get a rash at the injection site, or if any bleeding occurs, you should stop the injections and be reviewed by your doctor.

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