VTE RISK REDUCED WITH LONGER DURATION OF PROPHYLAXIS
Dr. Garrett is a clinical pharmacist practitioner at Cornerstone Health Care in High Point, NC.
A recent studyof nonsurgical patientssuggests thatextending venousthromboembolism(VTE) prophylaxisfor 1 month postdischargecan lowerVTE risk by 44%. The study, whichwas conducted in Europe and NorthAmerica, randomized acutely illpatients who were immobilized in thehospital to either stop VTE prophylaxisat discharge or continue it at home for1 month. This is the first study to lookat extending prophylaxis beyond 7 to10 days post-discharge in medicalpatients. The reduction in VTE eventsextended out to 90 days. Bleedingevents were higher in the extendedprophylaxisgroup, but the authors concludedthat bleeding events were inline with expectations and did notappear clinically significant.
The results of this study are importantbecause sicker patients are beingdischarged from the hospital. Their riskof VTE after discharge may increasebecause there may be less encouragementgiven to the patient by caregiversto maintain mobility. Extended VTE prophylaxisappears to lessen this risk.