Joondalup Health Campus staff raise awareness of blood clots during Venous Thromboembolism Awareness Week
WHEN Angela Jenkins gave birth to her second child 20 years ago, she had no idea that less than two weeks after going home with her baby she would return to hospital fighting for her life.
The Woodvale resident said she developed a blood clot following her pregnancy in the UK and since then has been on daily blood thinning medication.
“I was taken to my local hospital and after a week, was taken to a major tertiary centre for more advanced treatment,” she said.
“My dad had died the previous year, and my mum, who lived in Perth, came over as surprise for the birth of my baby.
“She was only due to stay two weeks but ended up staying 11 weeks because I was just so sick.
“My mum and hubby had to look after my three-year-old and my new baby because I was in hospital for five weeks and could only walk using a Zimmer frame.”
After recovering, Mrs Jenkins moved to Perth to be closer to her mum and ended up working at Joondalup Health Campus, where she is a ward clerk.
She recently joined forces with former ‘Nurse of the year’ and patient blood management consultant Angie Monk to promote Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Awareness Week in October.
Ms Monk said a thrombosis was a blood clot that formed in a person’s artery or veins.
“It is the one disorder that causes the world’s top three cardiovascular killers – heart attack, stroke and VTE, a blood clot that is found mostly in the leg and lungs,” she said.
“VTE is the leading cause of death and disability worldwide.
“More than two thirds of blood clots in the leg result from being in hospital, where people can be immobile for longer than usual.
“The good news is that there is plenty of things we can do to prevent or reduce the risk of VTE.
“My message is simple – if you’re going to the hospital, ask staff what your VTE risk assessment shows.
“Certain factors increase your risk – such as age, cancer, family history or being on the pill or hormone replacement therapy.
“Preventive management may include the use of special hospital stockings, calf or foot devices to enhance blood flow and blood thinning medication.
“The key message for patients is to keep moving and drink plenty of water.”
The consultant toured wards at Joondalup Health Campus with some life-sized ‘blood clots’ during the awareness week from October 13 to 19.