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Venous thromboembolic events in hospitalised medical patients

Journal: Thrombosis and Haemostasis
ISSN: 0340-6245
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1160/TH09-03-0150
Issue: 2009: 102/3 (Sep) pp. 421-610
Pages: 505-510

Venous thromboembolic events in hospitalised medical patients

Gregory Piazza1; John Fanikos2; Maksim Zayaruzny3; Samuel Z. Goldhaber1

1Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachussetts, USA; 2Department of Pharmacy, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachussetts, USA; 3Center for Outcomes Research, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Massachussetts, USA

Keywords

pulmonary embolism, Deep vein thrombosis, venous thromboembolism, prophylaxis, medical patients

Summary

The number of acutely ill hospitalised medical patients at risk for acute venous thromboembolism (VTE) has not been well defined. Therefore, we used the 2003 United States Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) Nationwide Inpatient Sample database to estimate VTE events among hospitalised medical patients. We then modeled the potential reduction in VTE with universal utilisation of appropriate pharmacological thromboprophylaxis. We calculated that 8,077,919 acutely ill hospitalised medical patients were at risk for VTE. Heart failure, respiratory failure, pneumonia, and cancer were the most common medical diagnoses. We estimated that 196,134 VTE-related events occurred in 2003, afflicting two out of every 100 acutely ill hospitalised medical patients. These VTE-related events were comprised of 122,235 symptomatic deep venous thromboses, 32,654 symptomatic episodes of pulmonary embolism, and 41,245 deaths due to VTE. In our model, rates of pharmacological thromboprophylaxis prescription were low for various acute medical illnesses, ranging from 15.3% to 49.2%. However, with universal thromboprophylaxis, 114,174 VTE-related events would have been prevented. In conclusion, acutely ill medical patients represent a large population vulnerable to the development of VTE during hospitalisation. The number of VTE-related events would be halved with universal thromboprophylaxis. Further efforts focused on improving VTE prevention strategies in hospitalised medical patients are warranted.

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