Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a disease that includes both deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). It is a common, lethal disorder that affects hospitalized and non-hospitalized patients, recurs frequently, is often overlooked, and results in long-term complications. This paper will examine a research study to determine the benefits of using pharmacologic prophylaxis to prevent VTE from occurring in hospitalized medical patients. It will discuss the background of the study, methods used in the study, results, ethical considerations as well as the significance it has on current and future nursing practice. .
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is a significant medical problem, with an estimated 200,000 to 600,000 Americans developing VTE each year. It is estimated that more than three-fourths of hospitalized patients in the United States have at least one risk factor for VTE and 48% have two or more risk factors. Nearly two thirds of all VTE events result from hospitalization, and approximately 300,000 of these patients die. Pulmonary embolism is the third most common cause of hospital-related death and the most common preventable cause of hospital-related death. VTE risk is lower in medical patients than in surgical patients, but still substantial (10%-20%). In addition, there is increasing evidence that medical patients are less likely than surgical patients to receive thromboprophylaxis, even when it is indicated or recommended. The nursing profession has the ability to increase patient safety and reduce further injury and mortality by advocating for the use of pharmacological thromboprophylaxis in all medical patients at risk for VTE. The author hypothesized that patients receiving pharmacologic VTE prophylaxis during hospitalization would have lower rates of post discharge adverse clinical outcomes than patients not receiving prophylaxis. The aim of this study was to analyze the effect of pharmacologic VTE prophylaxis among medical inpatients on the incidence and timing of VTE, readmission due to VTE, bleeding events, and cost of care in the 30, 90, and 180 days in the post discharge period after the initial admission.