Researchers looking at the circumstances surrounding development of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in 1,897 patients found that about 75% developed VTE in an outpatient setting, not during hospitalization. Their findings included the following:
* About 23% of patients had undergone surgery and 37% had been hospitalized in the preceding 3 months.
* Among these patients, 67% developed VTE within 1 month of hospital discharge.
* Among 516 patients with a recent hospitalization who subsequently developed VTE, only 43% had received anticoagulant prophylaxis.
Besides recent hospitalization, other risk factors for VTE included cancer and a history of VTE. Given ever-shorter hospital stays, researchers urge clinicians to consider extending VTE prophylaxis following discharge.
Spencer FA, et al., Venous thromboembolism in the outpatient setting, Archives of Internal Medicine, July 23, 2007.