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NHS launches new Thrombosis Service

Posted Oct 13th, 2015

Niagara Health System is pleased to announce the launch of its first Thrombosis Service, which is aimed at improving patient safety in the Niagara region. The official opening of the clinic was held today, in conjunction with World Thrombosis Day, which is marked annually on Oct. 13.

Thrombosis is the formation of potentially deadly blood clots in the artery (arterial thrombosis) or vein (venous thrombosis), and is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in the hospital. Once formed, a clot can slow or block normal blood flow, and even break loose and travel to an organ. This can result in significant injury, including heart attack, stroke and venous thromboembolism (VTE) – the top three cardiovascular killers.

The NHS Thrombosis Service, based at the St. Catharines Site, will support excellence in the management of Thrombosis and anticoagulants (blood thinners) in patients at NHS. The service will provide on-site expertise on thrombo prophylaxis, bridging and anti-coagulation management as well as management of challenging thromboembolism cases.

The Thrombosis Service is made up of a multi-disciplinary group of healthcare professionals who specialize in blood-clotting problems. The team will provide the best possible care and education to patients with, or at risk for blood clots.

The new service in Niagara is a unique partnership with pharmaceutical companies Boehringer Ingelheim and LEO Pharma, where each provided funding and other support to assist in the start-up of the NHS clinic.

“The new Thrombosis clinic introduces a vital clinical service not previously available in Niagara,” says NHS President Dr. Suzanne Johnston. “This is another example of our commitment to patient safety and our focus on quality. Congratulations to our team of multi-disciplinary healthcare providers for launching this important service. And we are very thankful for the support from Boehringer Ingelheim and LEO Pharma.”

The NHS service was developed with assistance from existing Thrombosis programs at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and Hamilton Health Sciences.

Dr. Blair Leonard, a Hematologist and the NHS Regional Thrombosis Lead, said: “The goal of the Thrombosis Service is to provide local expertise in managing this deadly condition and the medications needed to treat it. Anticoagulant therapy and its management have become much more complex as new drugs are introduced and physicians need expert assistance to provide the most clinically appropriate antithrombotic management. Ultimately this should lead to better, and safer patient care.”

Organized and dedicated Thrombosis Services have been shown to reduce anticoagulation related mortality, decrease bleeding complications, reduce transfusion requirements and reduce hospital re-admissions related to bleeding complications.

“We are pleased to be a partner in this important program that will ensure patients with cardiovascular-related complications within the NHS system will have access to dedicated Thrombosis services,” says Richard Mole, President and CEO, Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. “We look forward to seeing the positive outcomes of this partnership and the improvement of quality and patient outcomes for those within the system.”

Xavier Bertin, President and CEO at LEO Pharma, adds: “People are our focus.  By helping treat or prevent thrombosis, patients and their families will be able to live a better life. This partnership is a great example of how we can all work together to do better for patients. We are proud to help the NHS launch this new centre of expertise for better and safer patient care and an improvement of their quality of life.”


Thrombosis causes most of the world’s top three cardiovascular killers: heart attack, stroke and venous thromboembolism, or VTE – a blood clot found mostly in the leg and lungs.  One in four people die from causes related to Thrombosis.

Niagara Health System