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40% Patients Admitted For Surgery At Risk Of Blood Disease – NSHBT

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Up to 40 per cent admitted to surgical service will have Venous Thromboembolism (VTE), a condition that can claim lives within 60 minutes, says the Nigerian Society of Haematology and Blood Transfusion (NSHBT).

It would be recalled that a report by the NSHBT In 2018 titled: “Guideline for management of VTE in Nigeria”, revealed that though there is no clear idea  of the burden of  thrombotic disorders in  Nigeria, medical practice shows that several deaths post-surgery are related to thrombotic disorders. The report stated that a number of cases of sudden deaths are diagnosed at post-mortem as being due to complication of thrombotic disorders.

“It is estimated from few hospital-based studies in Nigeria that inheritable predisposing factors to thrombosis may not be that rare.   Factor V Leiden has been documented in at least 2 per cent of normal blood donors in Nigeria, other  studies  have  shown  that  Protein C,  Protein  S,  Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor levels deficiency may not be rare in Nigeria,” the report added.

The President, NSHBT, Prof. Aisha Gwarzo, in a communique, made available to LEADERSHIP Weekend, said VTE is a potentially deadly condition that has high rate of morbidity and mortality, adding that it is relatively common with an incidence of one in 1,000 in older adults.

Reports from few hospital-based studies in  Nigeria revealed that the prevalence rate of the condition has been reported to be increasing in Nigeria, says Gwarzo, adding that up to 14.9 per cent of patients admitted to a medical service and up to 40 per cent admitted to surgical service will have VTE without appropriate prophylaxis.

While the symptoms include pain, leg swelling, warmth, discolouration of the leg and shortness of breath, the President said the condition is sometimes misdiagnosed, unrecognised and untreated due to the fact that it can be mimicked by several other medical conditions.

In the same vein, Prof. Sulaimon Akanmu, at the World Thrombosis Day press briefing, organised by Sanofi, said the risk of Thrombosis in the general population is just two per cent.

“However, if you go to the hospital and you are looking for patients with Thrombosis risk, among the general patients, you will be getting 18 per cent. The risk become higher with patients admitted at surgical department with 40 per cent,” he added.

Akanmu said it is so sad that a patient would come to the hospital for the treatment of an illness, and end up dying from another condition within 60 minutes, or in a week later.

“That is the reason we say it is a silent killer because most health practitioners don’t think of it and the symptoms do not occur in about 50 per cent of cases, hence the reason we must give attention to patients at the hospital environment,” he added.

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