Information for the person collecting you following day surgery
The ward staff understand that your family will have concerns about your admission. In order to make the process run more smoothly for everyone we ask that they do not telephone the ward to make enquiries whilst you are with us as the ward only has one telephone line. This is also used to coordinate patient’s movements within the hospital and delays to treatment may occur if the line is kept busy.
Please ensure your family understand the following procedure for discharge.
- When your relative’s or friend’s procedure is complete, they will be taken to the recovery room and then returned to the ward where they will complete their recovery.
- When they feel ready they will be given something to eat and drink by a nurse before they get up and dress.
- When the nurse is satisfied that your relative/friend is ready to leave, you will be contacted and notified. Directions will be given as to the most appropriate pick-up point.
- If your relative/friend has undergone a procedure with a general or spinal anaesthetic, you will need to come onto the ward to escort them to their transport.
Preventing hospital-associated blood clots
What are hospital-associated blood clots?
A hospital-associated blood clot is one that occurs in patients when they are in hospital, and up to ninety days after a hospital admission. There are two kinds:
- Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT): A DVT is a blood clot (also known as a thrombosis) that forms in a deep vein, most commonly in your leg or pelvis. It may cause no symptoms at all or cause swelling, redness and pain.
- Pulmonary Embolism (PE): If a clot becomes dislodged and passes through your blood vessels it can reach your lungs, this is called a PE. Symptoms include coughing (with blood stained phlegm), chest pain and breathlessness.
Health professionals use the term venous thromboembolism (VTE), to cover both DVT and PE.
If you develop any of these symptoms either in hospital or after you go home, please get medical advice immediately.
Are blood clots common?
Blood clots occur in the general population in about one in 1000 people every year. You may have heard about DVT in people who have been on an aeroplane, but you are much more likely to get a blood clot after going into hospital. In fact, about two thirds of all blood clots occur during or after a stay in hospital. Although these risks are still small, the consequences can be serious. Blood clots can lead to long term medical problems such as permanent swelling in the legs, varicose veins and even leg ulcers. The Government recognises hospital-associated blood clots are an important problem and has asked hospital doctors, nurses and pharmacists to assess each patient’s risk. If you are at risk, your doctor or nurse will talk with you about what will be done to offer you protection against clots.
Who is at risk?
Any unwell adult admitted to hospital is at risk – that is most adults. Other factors that put people at greater risk include:
- A previous clot
- A recent diagnosis of cancer
- Being overweight (BMI of more than 30)
- Not being able to move about
- Taking oestrogen-containing contraceptives and hormone replacement
- Having an operation
- Suffering significant injury or trauma
- Being pregnant and after giving birth
- Varicose veins
- Certain ‘sticky blood’ conditions such as antiphospholipid syndrome or Factor V Leiden
What can be done to reduce my risk?
Stockings: In hospital, you may be measured and fitted with anti-embolism stockings for your legs. You will be shown how to apply them and told to tell a health professional about any new pain or discomfort in your feet or legs. Your stockings should be removed for a short time every day so that you can have a wash and check for any skin problems. Until you return to your usual level of activity, you may need to wear anti-embolism stockings after you go home. Your nurse will tell you how to put them on and what you should check your skin for.
Inflatable sleeves: The clinical team may ask you to wear calf or foot pumps. These are special inflatable sleeves which you wear around your legs while you are in bed or sat still in a chair. These will inflate automatically and provide pressure at regular intervals, increasing blood flow out of your legs.
Blood thinners: Most patients at risk will be prescribed a small dose of an anticoagulant (blood thinner). This reduces the chance of having a blood clot by thinning your blood slightly. If you need to take a blood thinner when you leave hospital, you will be told how long to take it for. The blood thinner most often used is a type of tinzaparin, which is given by injection. Tinzaparin comes from animals. If you have any concerns about using animal products, please tell your doctor and they will discuss other options with you. Blood thinning tablets are increasingly being used after orthopaedic surgery.
To be effective, these methods of prevention must be used correctly. If you have any questions or concerns, please ask your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
What can I do to help myself?
If possible, before coming into hospital:
- Talk to your doctor about contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. (Your doctor may consider stopping them in the weeks before an operation and will provide advice on temporarily using other methods if you stop taking your usual contraceptive);
- keep a healthy weight; and
- do regular exercise
When in hospital:
- keep moving or walking and get out of bed as soon as you can after an operation – ask your nurse or physiotherapist for more information
- Ask your doctor or nurse: “What is being done to reduce my risk of clots?”
- drink plenty of fluid to keep hydrated
If you need to continue anticoagulation injections at home, your nursing team will teach you how to do this. If you have any concerns make sure you speak to a nurse before you leave.
If you develop any sign or symptoms of a clot at home, then seek medical advice immediately, either from your General Practitioner (GP) or your nearest hospital’s emergency department.
Useful sources of information
- Please ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist for more information
- NHS website – patient information on blood clots
- Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS)
- NHS 111 is available 24 hours a day when you need medical help or advice and it’s not urgent enough to call 999
- Lifeblood: The Thrombosis Charity also has more information.
Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacterium (germ) that commonly lives on healthy skin. About one third of healthy people carry it quite harmlessly, usually on moist surfaces, such as the nostrils, armpits and groin. Meticillin resistant types of Staphylococcus aureus do not respond to some antibiotics which can sometimes make MRSA infections hard to treat.
What is MRSA screening?
It is estimated that around 7% of patients admitted to hospital have MRSA in the nose or on the skin. MRSA screening involves testing patients so that those carrying MRSA can be identified. MRSA is more likely to cause an infection in people who are unwell, which is why it is important to identify MRSA carriers in a hospital before it can cause symptoms or spread to other patients.
How is an MRSA screen taken?
A member of staff collects a sample by taking a swab moistened in saline from inside the nose. The sample is then sent to the laboratory.
What happens if MRSA is found?
If MRSA is found an antiseptic ointment for the nose and an antiseptic lotion to wash skin and hair with is needed. Patients with MRSA may be cared for separately from other patients.
Should you have any further questions or require further advice please speak to your doctor, nurse or Infection Prevention staff.
Infection Prevention Team: 01535 294848
The Health Protection website has further guidance and information.
Following your discharge from Ward 20 we would welcome your feedback. Please log on to the comments section of NHS Choices, select our town/postcode, and select Airedale NHS Trust and the ‘Rate it Yourself’.
Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can also be contacted with comments or concerns.
Tel: 01535 294109/294023
In writing to:
PALS, Airedale General Hospital, FREEPOST NAT14931, Steeton, Nr Keighley, BD20 6BR
Questions prior to your operation
The nurses, doctors and anaesthetists will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have prior to your procedure.