DVT prevention in hospitals is lacking

April 10, 2006

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is responsible for 200,000 fatalities each year in the United States. Yet, according to the results of a recent study conducted by Premier Inc. and researchers from the University of California, Irvine, hospitals aren't doing such a great job of protecting patients from dangerous blood clots that form in veins.

DVT prevention in hospitals is lacking

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is responsible for 200,000 fatalities each year in the United States. Yet, according to the results of a recent study conducted by Premier Inc. and researchers from the University of California, Irvine, hospitals aren't doing such a great job of protecting patients from dangerous blood clots that form in veins. DVT occurs when these clots dislodge and travel to the lungs where they cause pulmonary embolism. Researchers compared inpatient treatments with evidence-based prophylaxis guidelines involving the use of unfractionated and low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and compression devices suggested by the American College of Chest Physicians for several categories of medical and surgical diagnosis. Data from the study revealed that nonsurgical patients received the recommended treatment as little as 27% of the time and only 49% of the time at best. Surgical patients received the recommended treatment as little as 13% of the time. However, patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery complied with the guidelines as often as 85% of the time. The study authors recommended the adoption of evidence-based prophylaxis regimens for preventing DVT. The research was funded by Sanofi-Aventis through Premier's Healthcare Informatics Unit.

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