M Panju, D Raso, A Patel, A Panju, J Ginsberg

Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis is effective in the prevention of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in medical patients.

Methods:  A retrospective chart review was performed on medical inpatients at two academic hospitals in Hamilton, Ontario to investigate if patients received VTE prophylaxis as per current guidelines.

Results: An analysis was performed on 762 patient charts and 170 met inclusion criteria for use of pharmacological VTE prophylaxis. Of these, 91 (54%) received pharmacological VTE prophylaxis. In 63 patients with a contraindication to pharmacological VTE prophylaxis, 16 (25%) received non-pharmacological VTE prophylaxis.

Conclusion: The provision rate of pharmacological VTE prophylaxis in hospitalised medical patients who met pre-defined clinical criteria for prophylaxis was 54%. The rate of prophylaxis increased with additional VTE risk factors to a peak rate of 67%. There is room for the development of strategies to improve the use of VTE prophylaxis in hospitalised medical patients.

Keywords Venous thromboembolism, prophylaxis, deep vein thrombosis

Declaration of Interests Dr Ginsberg is a Career Investigator of the Heart and Stroke  Foundation of Ontario and holds The David Braley and Nancy Gordon Chair in Thromboembolic Disease.