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Prevention of Venous Thromboembolism

What is Venous Thromboembolism?  Venous thromboembolism, or VTE, is a term used to describe the blocking of a blood vessel by a blood clot.  VTE can be a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or a pulmonary embolism (PE).  DVT occurs when a blood clot blocks a deep vein, usually in the leg.  PE is a potentially life-threatening complication and occurs when the blood clot escapes into the circulation and becomes lodged in the lungs.  Both of these events are commonly associated with surgery, but can also occur in hospitalized medical patients due to long periods of time when patients are unable to walk or move as a result of their underlying illnesses.

 

Most hospitalized patients have one or more risk factors for the development of a VTE. Risk factors are things such as a patient's age, level of activity, being overweight, having a previous VTE, any health issues they may have, and the patient's present condition.  Based on these things, patients fall into the following groups - low risk, moderate risk, high risk, or very high risk.  Because having a VTE is a major concern among medical or general surgical patients, it is important to give the right care to patients to help prevent VTEs; this is called prophylaxis (pro-fill-axis). Without prophylaxis, the incidence of hospital-acquired DVT is approximately 10-40% among medical or general surgical patients and 40-60% following major orthopedic surgery.  

 

Types of prophylaxis include medications, such low molecular weight heparin, or mechanical methods, such as compression boots.

 

Baystate Medical Center 

  • All patients are screened for VTE and are treated (given prophylaxis) based on level of risk.
  • Our overall rate of prophylaxis is 99% for all patients. 
  • Our post-operative VTE rate is 0.66%.

 

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Baystate Franklin Medical Center 

  • New processes have been effectively implemented in the medical-surgical units and intensive care unit (ICU) to ensure that patients receive proper measures to prevent VTE all the time.  The current VTE prophylaxis rate is 91%, with a zero post-operative VTE rate.

 

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Baystate Mary Lane Hospital 

  • The current post-procedure VTE rate is zero. Compliance in the application of VTE prophylaxis is currently at 92%.

 

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For more information on Quality at Baystate Health

For more information on Baystate Medical Center

For more information on Baystate Franklin Medical Center

For more information on Baystate Mary Lane Hospital