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Type: Journal article
Title: Rate of venous thromboembolism among surgical patients in Australian hospitals: a multicentre retrospective cohort study
Author: Assareh, H.
Chen, J.
Ou, L.
Hollis, S.
Hillman, K.
Flabouris, A.
Citation: BMJ Open, 2014; 4(10):e005502-1-e005502-10
Publisher: BMJ Publishing Group
Issue Date: 2014
ISSN: 2044-6055
Statement of
Hassan Assareh, Jack Chen, Lixin Ou, Stephanie J Hollis, Kenneth Hillman, Arthas Flabouris
Abstract: OBJECTIVES: Despite the burden of venous thromboembolism (VTE) among surgical patients on health systems in Australia, data on VTE incidence and its variation within Australia are lacking. We aim to explore VTE and subsequent mortality rates, trends and variations across Australian acute public hospitals. SETTING: A large retrospective cohort study using all elective surgical patients in 82 acute public hospitals during 2002-2009 in New South Wales, Australia. PARTICIPANTS: Patients underwent elective surgery within 2 days of admission, aged between 18 and 90 years, and who were not transferred to another acute care facility; 4 362 624 patients were included. OUTCOME MEASURES: VTE incidents were identified by secondary diagnostic codes. Poisson mixed models were used to derive adjusted incidence rates and rate ratios (IRR). RESULTS: 2/1000 patients developed postoperative VTE. VTE increased by 30% (IRR=1.30, CI 1.19 to 1.42) over the study period. Differences in the VTE rates, trends between hospital peer groups and between hospitals with the highest and those with the lowest rates were significant (between-hospital variation). Smaller hospitals, accommodated in two peer groups, had the lowest overall VTE rates (IRR=0.56:0.33 to 0.95; IRR=0.37:0.23 to 0.61) and exhibited a greater increase (64% and 237% vs 19%) overtime and greater between-hospital variations compared to larger hospitals (IRR=8.64:6.23 to 11.98; IRR=8.92:5.49 to 14.49 vs IRR=3.70:3.32 to 4.12). Mortality among patients with postoperative VTE was 8% and remained stable overtime. No differences in post-VTE death rates and trends were seen between hospital groups; however, larger hospitals exhibited less between-hospital variations (IRR=1.78:1.30 to 2.44) compared to small hospitals (IRR>23). Hospitals performed differently in prevention versus treatment of postoperative VTE. CONCLUSIONS: VTE incidence is increasing and there is large variation between-hospital and within-hospital peer groups suggesting a varied compliance with VTE preventative strategies and the potential for targeted interventions and quality improvement opportunities.
Keywords: Humans
Pulmonary Embolism
Aortic Aneurysm, Abdominal
Venous Thrombosis
Postoperative Complications
Arthroplasty, Replacement
Risk Factors
Retrospective Studies
Cohort Studies
Aged, 80 and over
Middle Aged
Hospitals, Public
New South Wales
Heart Failure
Venous Thromboembolism
Young Adult
Outcome Assessment, Health Care
Rights: This is an Open Access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See:
DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005502
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