Blurred healthcare professionals rushing past empty beds on a hospital corridor.

Management of venous thromboembolism risk in patients following thrombolysis for an acute stroke

HSIB legacy content

HSIB legacy content

This investigation was carried out by the Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch (HSIB). Find out more about HSIB legacy.

National investigation

Every year in the UK over 100,000 people have a stroke. Patients who are admitted to hospital for any reason, including stroke, are assessed for their risk of developing blood clots in their veins which may arise due to being less active than usual.

Reference event

The reference event in this investigation is the case of a 78-year old woman who suffered a pulmonary embolism whilst recovering from a stroke in hospital.

Following her stroke, she was treated with thrombolysis and had an initial assessment to determine whether she was at risk of blood clots forming.

Investigation summary

This investigation looks at the management of venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk for patients that have suffered an acute stroke and received thrombolysis.

VTE is the collective term for the formation of blood clots, including deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). Thrombolysis is a treatment for some types of stroke with ‘clot-busting’ drugs.

This investigation looks at:

  • The management of VTE risk in inpatients following thrombolysis for an acute stroke.
  • Detection of medical problems (that impact on VTE risk) occurring in inpatients following thrombolysis for an acute stroke.
Investigation report