Lack of Clinical Benefit of Thromboprophylaxis in Patients Hospitalized in a Medical Unit Over a 10-year Span

Gabrielle Migner-Laurin, Thomas St-Aubin, Julie Lapointe, Paul Van Nguyen, Robert Wistaff, Mikhael Laskin, Christophe Kolan, Maxime Lamarre-Cliche


Background: Thromboprophylaxis for hospitalized patients with a high risk of venous thromboembolic events (VTEs) is strongly recommended but is not universally applied on medical units. Outside of randomized trials, there is minimal evidence that the usual medications reduce the incidence of clinically significant VTE.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study including all patients admitted into a teaching medical unit during years 2001-2002, 2003-2004, 2005-2006, 2007-2008 and 2009-2010. Inclusion criteria for the analysis were having one or more risk factors for a VTE and no contraindication to thromboprophylaxis.

Results: Of 2,369 patients reviewed, 1,302 satisfied the inclusion criteria. Between years 2001-2002 and 2009-2010, the proportion of patients receiving thromboprophylaxis increased from 29.2% to 76.4% (P < 0.0001) and the duration of thromboprophylaxis increased from 63% of hospital stay to 84% (P = 0.004). There was no statistically significant association between the number of risk factors and the rate of thromboprophylaxis. Overall, only 32 patients suffered from a VTE with no decrease in VTE incidence between years 2001-2002 and 2009-2010. A total of 107 patients had a bleeding event, and there was no statistically significant change in the incidence of bleeding during our study period.

Conclusions: In our medical units, we found a statistically significant increase in the use of the thromboprophylaxis practice. However, this was not associated with any statistically significant impact on the VTE incidence. This suggests that patients given thromboprophylaxis could be better selected.

J Clin Med Res. 2014;6(2):91-97


Thromboprophylaxis; Deep vein thrombosis; Pulmonary embolus; Anticoagulation; Hospital medicine

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