“Venous thromboembolism (VTE), encompassing deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), or blood clots in leg veins, and pulmonary embolism (PE), or clots that travel to the lungs, is the most common cause of preventable death in hospital settings. While these clots can be prevented by an approach called VTE prophylaxis, and this reduces mortality by as much as 80%, VTE prophylaxis is not universally prescribed for high-risk patients. In a study in theCanadian Journal of Cardiology, researchers found that even after educating healthcare providers about the need for VTE prophylaxis, significant numbers of patients did not receive the recommended treatment.
Investigators carried out chart reviews of patients in a university-affiliated, tertiary care cardiology center, which included a clinical teaching unit (CTU) and a coronary care unit (CCU). Audits were conducted three and five months before the introduction of an educational program on VTE prophylaxis protocol, followed by a second series of audits three and five months after protocol initiation.
Prior to the educational efforts, including a guideline-based protocol, 36% of all patients considered at risk for VTE did not receive prophylaxis. Surprisingly, three months after the program was initiated, 21% of patients were still not being treated according to the recommended guidelines, and that rose to 28% five months post-protocol.”
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