Objective: To evaluate venous thromboembolism (VTE) risk in patients who underwent a major operation, including the use of, and factors influencing, American College of Chest Physicians-recommended types of VTE prophylaxis.
Summary background data: The Epidemiologic International Day for the Evaluation of Patients at Risk for Venous Thromboembolism in the Acute Hospital Care Setting (ENDORSE) survey, conducted in 358 hospitals in 32 countries, reported that globally, more than 40% of at-risk patients do not receive VTE prophylaxis. Limited data are available regarding VTE prophylaxis practices according to surgery type and patient characteristics.
Methods: Patients aged >or=18 years undergoing major surgery were included in this prespecified subanalysis. VTE risk and use of prophylaxis were determined from hospital medical records according to the 2004 American College of Chest Physicians guidelines. Multivariable analyses were performed to identify factors associated with VTE prophylaxis use.
Results: Of the 18,461 patients in ENDORSE who had undergone major surgery, 17,084 (92.5%) were at-risk for VTE and 10,638 (62.3%) received prophylaxis. Use of prophylaxis varied according to major surgery type from 86.0% for orthopedic surgery to 53.8% in urologic/gynecologic and 53.6% in other procedures. Major orthopedic surgery was most strongly associated with prophylaxis use (hip replacement: odds ratio 6.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] 5.0-7.6; knee replacement: odds ratio 5.9, 95% CI 4.6-7.8).
Conclusions: The majority of surgical patients are at high-risk for VTE. Despite long-standing recognition of the high-risk for VTE in surgical patients, thromboprophylaxis remains underutilized.