World Thrombosis Day: VTE, a fatal but preventable medical condition

October 13, 2019, is World Thrombosis Day (WTD) — the sixth WTD since the initiative was first established in 2014.

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VTE-related events kill more people than breast cancer, prostate cancer, AIDS and motor vehicle crashes combined¹.

The aim of WTD is to increase global awareness of thrombosis, including venous thromboembolism (VTE), a dangerous and potentially deadly medical condition in which blood clots form, often in the deep veins of the leg (known as deep vein thrombosis, or DVT) and can travel in the circulation and lodge in the lungs (known as pulmonary embolism, or PE). Together, DVT and PE make up VTE2.

Each year there are 10 million cases of VTE reported worldwide³, yet VTE-related death remains a largely undocumented but preventable medical condition.

VTE can happen to anyone regardless of age and gender. One goal of WTD is to create awareness of the risk factors and situations that can lead to a fatal blood clot. According to WTD, some of the risk factors include:

  • Hospitalization for an extended period of time
  • Not moving for long periods, such as prolonged bed rest
  • Age 60+
  • A history of blood clots in the family
  • Cancer or chemotherapy treatment
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy or recently giving birth
  • Smoking/alcohol use
  • Estrogen-based medication

Patient immobility is common and often unavoidable in a hospital setting. VTE is the leading preventable cause of hospital death, with up to 60% of all VTE cases happening during hospitalization or within 90 days of a stay in the hospital3.

Additional treatments, longer hospital stays and recurring VTE are all factors that contribute to the extensive cost of VTE. For example, this condition costs the National Health Service (NHS) £640 million per year in the U.K.4 In the U.S., diagnosis and treatment of VTE costs $15.5 billion per year5.

Hospitals and other health care facilities should consider the risks associated with VTE along with methods to help prevent the condition. Preventing VTE will not only saves lives, but also increases the comfort and well-being for patients.

For more details on VTE prevention and product solutions, including clinical guidelines, patient and caregiver information, clinical FAQs, and education, please click on the link below:

Visit our vascular therapy knowledge section

For more information about VTE and the upcoming WTD along with related events near you visit


  1. Cohen AT, Agnelli G, Anderson FA, et al. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) in Europe. Thromb Haemost. 2007; 98:756-764.
  2. Accessed October 2019.
  3. Jha AK, Larizgoitia I, Audera-Lopez C, Prasopa-Plaisier N, Waters H, Bates DW. The global burden of unsafe medical care: analytic modeling of observational studies. BMJ Qual Saf. 2013: 22;809-15. Retrieved from:
  4. House of Commons Health Committee Report on the Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism in Hospitalised Patients.
  5. Medscape. Medscape General Medicine. 2004;6(3)5.