Every patient admitted to UK hospitals should be screened for the risk of dangerous blood clots that lead to deep vein thrombosis (DVT), new guidelines from the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) said.

Primary care trusts will now be able to punish hospitals if they fail to act on guidelines and screen at least 90% of their patients.

NICE development group chairman Professor Tom Treasure said patients should ask for a risk assessment if they are not given one.

“It is a silent killer, so it is the responsibility of medical professionals to take the very simple steps set out in the guidelines, which can help prevent unnecessary deaths and long-term illnesses,” Treasure said.

An estimated 25,000 people die from the condition each year, reports the BBC.