By Dr. Brian McDonough, Medical Editor

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The term is VTE prophylaxis and although it might sound like alphabet soup it has become a very important part of hospital care. The reason why this is important is because VTE is the medical term for blood clots.

These clots can start in the legs and move to the lungs. We see it happen in certain high risk situations including prolonged bed rest. A classic time that we see this is when a person has surgery.

The prophylaxis is usually in the form of medications that work as blood or clot thinners. Hospitals are working hard to achieve this goal and physicians are aware of the importance of this.