High Risk of Thromboembolism Among Hospitalized Patients

Many at-risk patients do not receive prophylaxis

FRIDAY, Feb. 1 (HealthDay News) -- About half of hospitalized patients are at risk of developing venous thromboembolism, but many at-risk patients do not receive prophylaxis, researchers report in the Feb. 2 issue of The Lancet.

Alexander T. Cohen, M.D., from King's College Hospital in London, United Kingdom, and colleagues assessed the risk of venous thromboembolism among 68,183 hospital in-patients in 358 hospitals, based on hospital chart review. Patients were classified as surgical (45 percent) or medical (55 percent). The risk of venous thromboembolism was determined using the 2004 guidelines of the American College of Chest Physicians.

The researchers found that overall, 51.8 percent of patients were at risk of venous thromboembolism, comprising 64.4 percent of surgical patients and 41.5 percent of medical patients. More at-risk surgical patients received venous thromboembolism prophylaxis (58.5 percent) than at-risk medical patients (39.5 percent).

"A large proportion of hospitalized patients are at risk for venous thromboembolism, but there is a low rate of appropriate prophylaxis. Our data reinforce the rationale for the use of hospital-wide strategies to assess patients' venous thromboembolism risk and to implement measures that ensure that at-risk patients receive appropriate prophylaxis," Cohen and colleagues conclude.

Cohen and several co-authors report financial ties to pharmaceutical companies.

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