Under treatment of venous thromboembolism persists in cardiac unit

Researchers introduced a new protocol in a cardiology unit to help ensure patients at risk were put on anticoagulants, but there were still high rates of under treatment.

For patients admitted to hospital, the most common cause of preventable death is venous thromboembolism. Researchers found that 36% of high-risk patients were not receiving prophylactic anticoagulation. In the image, a patient on a hospital bed

For patients admitted to hospital, the most common cause of preventable death is venous thromboembolism. To improve prophylactic anticoagulation rates, a new protocol was implemented and an audit carried out at the cardiology inpatient unit at St Boniface Hospital, University of Manitoba, Canada.

Researchers found that initially, 36% of high-risk patients were not receiving prophylactic anticoagulation. After the introduction of a new protocol, this dropped to 26% (P=0.024) overall. However, the percentage of patients not receiving anticoagulation began to increase again as time went on.

After implementing a protocol, “a substantial proportion of patients at high risk for VTE still did not receive prophylaxis,” say the authors of the study, published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology (online, 9 August 2015)[1]
. They suggest that electronic patient records and “innovative software” may help improve anticoagulation rates.

References

[1] Golian M, Moussa M, White C et al. Venous thromboembolism prophylaxis on a cardiology in-patient unit: a surprising result? Canadian Journal of Cardiology 2015. doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cjca.2015.05.023.

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Citation
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 22/29 August 2015, Vol 295, No 7876/7;295(7876/7):DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20069164