Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Prevention


Spending long hours in a bed or a chair can increase your risk for venous thromboembolism, commonly called "VTE." This is a type of blood clot that can form in a vein in your leg and then travel to your lungs. It can be fatal. It's important to follow the advice of your healthcare provider so you can prevent this dangerous condition.

Frequent Movement

Immobilization is the biggest risk factor for VTE. Sitting or lying still for long periods can allow blood clots to form in your legs. Frequent movement is a key part of prevention. Your healthcare provider may suggest foot and leg exercises to keep your blood flowing. You need to do these often.

Compression Stockings and Elevation

You may be given compression stockings. These tight socks keep blood from pooling in the veins of your legs. If you are confined to a bed, you can also keep your feet elevated on pillows to further improve blood circulation.

Compression Device

You may benefit from a compression device that inflates and deflates to help circulate the blood in your legs. The device has leggings connected to an air compressor. At regular intervals, the compressor inflates the leggings to squeeze your legs.


You may also benefit from medications to thin your blood. Your healthcare provider can let you know if medication is right for your needs.


VTE is a serious problem for anyone whose mobility is impaired. It can develop during your hospital stay or as you recover at home. Ask your healthcare provider if you are at a high risk for this condition. Ask about a customized care plan, and follow the recommendations to prevent it from happening to you.