Analysis of Adherence to Thromboprophylaxis and Incidence of Venous Thromboembolism After Lower Limb Orthopaedic Surgery

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Cureus. 2021 Nov 19;13(11):e19746. doi: 10.7759/cureus.19746. eCollection 2021 Nov.


Background The economic burden caused by venous thromboembolism (VTE) to the National Health Service (NHS) is approximately £640 million. There is a significant national drive for VTE prophylaxis prescription given the high morbidity and mortality rates associated with VTE following lower limb orthopaedic surgery. The primary objective of this analysis was to examine the adherence to the updated VTE guidelines, NG89, by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) regarding prophylaxis for patients undergoing lower limb orthopaedic surgery, where the weight-bearing status will be reduced postoperatively, in an urban community hospital. Methodology We looked at 586 patients who underwent elective lower limb orthopaedic surgeries over a two year time period. We reviewed their VTE prophylaxis administration. Results were shared with the Hospital Thrombosis Committee department. Education was provided to the relevant staff and hospital policy for VTE prophylaxis. The primary endpoint was to compare the proportion of patients receiving prophylaxis as per the hospital guidelines as well as complications arising from VTE. Results A total of 586 patients were included in this audit. Compliance with VTE pharmacological prophylaxis was recorded, as well as weight-bearing status advised postoperatively. Compliance with prophylaxis in patients who were non-weight-bearing postoperatively was 54.8%. There were three cases of recorded VTE; however, in all cases, appropriate VTE prophylaxis has been prescribed. Conclusion Increasing hospital-wide awareness and education of VTE and the fatal complications is imperative. All patients should be administered VTE prophylaxis as an inpatient and on discharge if their weight-bearing status is affected following lower limb orthopaedic surgery. Although our compliance rate for prescription of VTE prophylaxis did not achieve the standards set by NICE, all cases of recorded VTE had been correctly prescribed VTE prophylaxis on discharge.

PMID:34812337 | PMC:PMC8604429 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.19746