International Journal of Medical Research & Health Sciences (IJMRHS)
ISSN: 2319-5886 Indexed in: ESCI (Thomson Reuters)

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Pregnant and the Postpartum Women’s Knowledge and Awareness of Venous Thromboembolism

Author(s):Razan Ahmed, Lama Alfehaid and Hind Almodaimegh

Background: The incidence of Venous thromboembolism (VTE) in pregnant women is 4-5 times higher than that in non-pregnant women, and the risk is increased postpartum. There are limited studies that assess the awareness of VTE among at-risk pregnant and postpartum women. Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional study including a validated survey was administered to pregnant women in the outpatient clinic and those hospitalized for labor at King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Results: Out of 340 participants, 57% correctly described the cause of deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Only 26.8% and 13.8% reported awareness of DVT and Pulmonary embolism (PE) respectively. About 32% of the participants who had previous knowledge about DVT, knew that swelling of the leg is one of its major symptoms, and only 25% recognized the shortness of breath as a major symptom of PE. Long periods of inactivity or undergoing surgery were correctly identified as key risk factors for developing a blood clot by only 20%, and 14.4% of the participants respectively, while 7.5% were aware that pregnancy or postpartum are risk factors for VTE. Though most participants (99.7%) agreed that blood clots can cause death, 90.3% believed that blood clots cannot be prevented. The educational level has a significant effect on participants’ awareness of DVT. Conclusion: This study demonstrates knowledge deficit and lack of awareness of VTE among pregnant and postpartum patients. More effort must be provided to increase the awareness of VTE risk to ensure safe and high-quality patient care.

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