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Thrombosis UK holds international symposium – Thrombosis and Obstetrics in support of World Thrombosis Day, the global movement to Know Thrombosis and reduce leading cause of preventable cardiovascular death

With the 2017 campaign focusing on educating public & healthcare professionals about thrombosis risk factors, signs and symptoms, Thrombosis UK will be holding an international symposium, Thrombosis and thromboprophylaxis in pregnancy and puerperium’ at the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London for health professionals.

Endorsed by the British Society of Haematology and with accredited CPD points awarded bt the Royal College of Physicians, the event hosts leading international experts and attendees representing midwifery, pharmacy, nephrology, nursing, haematology, emergency and primary care.

A day of workshops, discussion and presentations will focus on diagnosis, management, developing improved pathways of care, identifying questions for future research, with a concluding panel discussion on key areas of guideline development in the prevention, early diagnosis and management of venous thromboembolism (blood clots) in pregnancy and recently delivered patients.

Awareness and understanding amongst non-specialist healthcare professionals and the general public too often results in a late diagnosis, placing the mother-to-be or new-mum, at increased risk.

  • One in four people worldwide die of conditions caused by blood clots in both arteries and veins , also known by the medical term ‘thrombosis’
  • Venous thromboembolic disease, including pulmonary embolism (PE) has been identified as the most important cause of direct maternal mortality in the UK, but can be difficult to diagnose [1]
  • Pregnancy increases the risk of blood clots (thrombosis) 4-5 fold [2,3]

Professor Beverley Hunt, Medical Director of Thrombosis UK comments:

"VTE is a condition in which blood clots form (most often) in the deep veins of the leg (known as deep vein thrombosis, DVT) and can travel in the circulation and lodge in the lungs (known as pulmonary embolism, PE)."

"VTE is a life-threatening but often preventable condition that affects millions of people worldwide. In pregnancy the risk of having VTE is raised 4 to 5 fold compared with not being pregnant. In the UK despite the widespread use of orevnetative measures in pregnancy and after delivery, death due to VTE remains the commonest cause of death in mothers that is directly due to the pregnancy We hope this day of education will improve understanding and research around preventing and managing VTE in mothers among health professionals."

About Thrombosis UK:

Thrombosis UK is an independent charity committed to promoting awareness, research and care of thrombosis to patients, the public and health care professionals.

Thrombosis UK is a leader in: identifying, informing and partnering the NHS, healthcare providers and individuals to work to improve prevention of venous thromboembolism (VTE) and the management and care of unavoidable VTE events.

The Charity’s priority is for everyone to KNOW the risks, signs and symptoms of VTE and to support research to extend understanding into the prevention and best management of VTE.


Venous thromboembolism or VTE is the collective term used for deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), which occurs when part or all of the DVT breaks off and travels round the circulation to block blood supply to the lungs, and can be fatal. Of those who experience a PE, up to one in 10 will die if not treated.

Up to one in every 1,000 people are affected by VTE every year, with 55% of all VTE occurring after admission to hospital because the three factors that promote VTE particularly occur when individuals are unwell (immobility, sticky blood and damage to the vein wall).

DVT can be asymptomatic or can cause pain. The textbooks say legs are tender and swollen and may be discoloured, but many don’t have these symptoms.

The symptoms of PE can include: shortness of breath, either severe and sudden or of gradual onset; chest pain may be worse on inhalation; there may be sudden collapse; or coughing up blood, and the symptoms of DVT may also be present.

About World Thrombosis Day

Launched in 2014 and held annually on 13 October, World Thrombosis Day (WTD) aims to increase public, healthcare professional and health care systems’ awareness of thrombosis and, ultimately, to reduce deaths and disabilities from thromboembolic disease through a greater awareness of its causes, risk factors, signs and symptoms, and evidence-based prevention and treatment. WTD’s mission supports the World Health Assembly's global target of reducing premature deaths by non-communicable disease by 25 percent by 2025, as well as the WHO global action plan for the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases in the 2013-2020 timeframe. Unrestricted corporate grants to help support WTD come from Bayer HealthCare, Boehringer Ingelheim, Boston Scientific, Bristol-Myers Squibb/Pfizer Alliance, Daiichi Sankyo, Janssen, Portola Pharmaceuticals, Cardinal Health, Siemens, Aspen Pharmaceuticals, Instrumentation Laboratory, Precision BioLogic, Roche and Stago.

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Media inquiries:
Jo Jerrome


[1] Knight M, Kenyon S, Brocklehurst P, Neilson J, Shakespeare J, Kurinczuk JJ (Eds), on behalf of MBRRACE-UK. Saving Lives, Improving Mothers' Care - Lessons learned to inform future maternity care from the UK and Ireland Confidential Enquiries into Maternal Deaths and Morbidity 2009-12. Oxford: National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, 2014.

[2] Pomp ER, Lenselink AM, Rosendaal FR, Doggen CJ. Pregnancy, the postpartum period and prothrombotic defects: risk of venous thrombosis in the MEGA study. J Thromb Haemost. 2008 Apr. 6(4):632-7. [Medline].

[3] Heit JA, Kobbervig CE, James AH, Petterson TM, Bailey KR, Melton LJ 3rd. Trends in the incidence of venous thromboembolism during pregnancy or postpartum: a 30-year population-based study. Ann Intern Med. 2005 Nov 15. 143(10):697-706. [Medline].