Pregnant and Post Partum Women

Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) is a leading cause of maternal deaths in the developed world1 accounting for 3.2% of maternal deaths worldwide2 and 9.5% of maternal deaths in Australia3. While the risk of VTE has been found to be greater during the post-partum than the antenatal period,1,4 many VTEs still occur in the first trimester4. Early risk assessment and prevention is recommended.

Evidence suggests that all pregnant and post-partum women will benefit from VTE risk assessment and prescription of appropriate prophylaxis throughout their patient journey. This includes at:

  • the first antenatal review and/or booking
  • hospital admission for a non-pregnancy related complaint
  • hospital admission for a pregnancy-related complaint
  • the time immediately after birth (post-partum).

Assessing VTE Risk

A NSW Maternity Venous Thromboembolism Risk Assessment Tool has been developed. This helps guide clinicians to assess a woman’s risk and prescribe appropriate prophylaxis.

NSW Maternity Venous Thromboembolism
Risk Assessment Tool

Order via Stream Solutions 1300 786 075
Stock code: NH700088

download PDF ~231KB

Education and Training

To assist facilities with providing education to clinicians on VTE risk assessment and prevention in pregnant and post-partum women, a PowerPoint presentation has been developed.

Venous Thromboembolism
Reducing the risk in maternity patients

download PDF ~4.2MB

Information for Women & their Families

Women and their carers should be provided with information on the risks of VTE, how to prevent VTE and the signs and symptoms of a VTE.

The patient leaflet can be used at any time point during a women’s journey. It contains a ‘going home plan’ for women who will be discharged on  medication to prevent a VTE

Preventing Blood Clots in Pregnancy and After Birth
Information for women and their families

download PDF ~324KB

Posters for Staff

A poster that can be displayed in clinical areas to raise awareness of the preventable nature of VTE and prompt clinicians to think about the need to risk assess women is available

Don't let a little blood clot harm a family
Risk assess your patients

download PDF ~188KB

References

  1. Queensland Clinical Guidelines. Venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis in pregnancy and the puerperium. February 2014
  2. L Say et al. Global causes of maternal death: a WHO systematic analysis. Lancet Glob Health 2014; 2: e323–33
  3. Humphrey MD, Bonello MR, Chughtai A, Macaldowie A, Harris K & Chambers GM 2015. Maternal deaths in Australia 2008–2012. Maternal deaths series no. 5. Cat. no. PER 70. Canberra: AIHW.
  4. Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Reducing the risk of thrombosis and embolism during pregnancy and the puerperium. Green-top Guideline No.37a. 2009.