Can hospitals do a better job of preventing dangerous blood clots in hospitalized patients? According to a review of more than 250,000 patient records by Premier, Inc., an alliance of hospitals, and researchers from the University of California-Irvine, the answer is yes.
The research, funded by sanofi aventis, supports the findings of the National Quality Forum and the Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. These and other groups are promoting the adoption of regimens for preventing deep vein thrombosis (DVT).
DVT occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein, usually in the legs. If the clot travels to the lungs, the result is a pulmonary embolism.
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Researchers found that nonsurgical patients received recommended treatment as little as 27% of the time and only half the time at best; surgical patients, only 13% of the time; and patients undergoing major orthopedic surgery, as often as 85% of the time.
Some patients either did not receive any recommended preventive regimen at all or did not receive treatment for enough days during their hospital stay. When patients did receive the recommended medication, they usually received the appropriate dose.