Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Blood Clot Risk Not Treated Preventively, Study Finds

16.01.2004


In a nationwide study of hospitalized patients, researchers at Duke University Medical Center and Brigham and Women’s Hospital found that individuals at risk for developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT) -- a disorder characterized by the formation of blood clots in the deep veins of the legs -- often fail to receive preventive medications. DVT can cause death when leg clots break free and lodge in the lungs, a condition known as pulmonary embolism.


Victor F. Tapson, MD



The study found that, of more than 5,000 patients who developed DVT, the majority failed to receive prophylactic therapy in the 30-day period prior to their diagnosis. What’s more, said the researchers, in patients with DVT, physicians often failed to prescribe the drugs proven most effective for treating the disorder, opting instead for older treatment methods.

"Clearly, there is a disconnect between evidence and execution as it relates to DVT prevention and treatment," said co-lead investigator Victor Tapson, M.D., associate professor of medicine at Duke University Medical Center. "The bottom line is that every patient admitted to a hospital ought to be considered for preventive measures."


Tapson and study first author Samuel Goldhaber, M.D., of Brigham and Women’s Hospital, report their findings in the Jan. 15, 2004, issue of The American Journal of Cardiology. The study was supported by Aventis Pharmaceuticals, which manufactures low molecular weight heparin, a drug that can treat and prevent DVT. Tapson is a paid consultant and has conducted research for Aventis.

Those who most often develop DVT include patients with cancer, obesity and heart failure. Also at increased risk for DVT are elderly patients and those who have had surgery within the previous three months or who have been immobile in the previous 30 days.

Symptoms of DVT can be mild to severe, and include swelling and discomfort in the extremities. Administration of low-dose anticoagulants, including unfractionated heparin, low molecular weight heparin and warfarin, have been found to significantly reduce the risk of DVT. Once clots have formed, higher doses of the drugs act as effective treatments.

Left untreated, leg vein clots can enter the bloodstream and travel to the lungs causing pulmonary embolism, a condition that can affect lung function. Pulmonary embolism is responsible for more than 100,000 deaths in the U.S. each year -- more than the number of breast cancer deaths, highway fatalities or deaths from AIDS, Tapson noted.

For the study, over a period of six months, physicians at 183 sites nationwide enrolled 5,451 patients with DVT in the registry. The study investigators obtained information about patients’ histories from medical records.

Less than 30 percent of patients enrolled in the registry received preventive blood thinning drugs within 30 days prior to their diagnosis of DVT. Of the 2,726 patients who developed DVT while in the hospital, 42 percent failed to receive prophylaxis within 30 days prior to diagnosis, the team reported.

Furthermore, said Tapson, physicians often treated patients diagnosed with DVT with unfractionated heparin rather than low molecular weight heparin, despite clear advantages of the latter drug. For example, low molecular weight heparin is administered by subcutaneous injection, while unfractionated heparin generally requires intravenous infusion. Patients receiving low molecular weight heparin can often be discharged while receiving treatment, he added, while those receiving unfractionated heparin require longer hospital stays.

"Studies like this allow us to look at real life in terms of the treatment that patients are receiving," Tapson said. "Clearly, anticoagulants proven to aid in the prevention of DVT are being underused by physicians in the United States for both medical and surgical patients, despite a very low risk of side effects."

The solution, said Tapson, is to educate physicians that all hospitalized patients should be evaluated with regard to their DVT risk and those at risk provided prophylaxis.

Kendall Morgan | dukemed news
Further information:
http://dukemednews.org/news/article.php?id=7376

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New study points the way to therapy for rare cancer that targets the young
22.11.2017 | Rockefeller University

nachricht Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos
21.11.2017 | University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Frictional Heat Powers Hydrothermal Activity on Enceladus

Computer simulation shows how the icy moon heats water in a porous rock core

Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Underwater acoustic localization of marine mammals and vehicles

23.11.2017 | Information Technology

Enhancing the quantum sensing capabilities of diamond

23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon

23.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>