What measurement means for blood clots after surgery

People have a higher risk of getting blood clots after surgery because of less physical activity, the stress of surgery on the body, and mild dehydration caused by surgery. Blood clots deep in the veins of the legs (deep vein thrombosis) happen after when the blood thickens and clumps together.

Patients who have blood clots are at risk for complications such as:

  • swelling
  • soreness
  • redness
  • pain in the thigh and lower leg

If a blood clot breaks off and travels through the blood stream into the lungs it could block blood flow and strain your heart. This is known as pulmonary embolism (PE) and is a medical emergency. Patients with PE are at risk for:

  • heart attack
  • stroke
  • death
How to understand the Blood Clots measure

Blood clots do not always represent medical errors. Some hospitals may experience a greater number of patients with blood clots because they see more sick patients. Our blood clot rate information is shown as a comparison between a hospital’s actual rate and the rate expected for that hospital. A rate that is the “Same” or “Better” than expected can be a sign of high-quality care.