Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Venous thromboembolism: reducing the risk in a Role 3 setting
  1. Darren G Craig1,
  2. M G Adam2,
  3. A Proffitt3,
  4. I Parsons4,
  5. N R Tai5 and
  6. J L d'Arcy6
  1. 1Gastroenterology Department, The James Cook University Hospital, Middlesbrough, UK
  2. 2Department of Infectious Diseases, Ealing Hospital NHS Trust, London, UK
  3. 3Department of Medicine, University Hospital of North Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, UK
  4. 45 Medical Regiment, North Yorkshire, UK
  5. 5Trauma Clinical Academic Unit, Royal London Hospital, London, UK
  6. 6Department of Cardiology, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Wg Cdr DG Craig, Gastroenterology Department, The James Cook University Hospital, Marton Road, Middlesbrough TS4 3BW, UK; darrencraig{at}


Background Venous thromboembolism (VTE) represents a significant preventable cause of hospital mortality. VTE assessment and prophylaxis rates are key patient safety and quality of care indicators. The aim of this study was to audit low molecular weight heparin (LMWH) and graduated elasticated compression stockings (GECS) prescriptions compared with the current Clinical Guidelines for Operations.

Methods Complete audit loop in the Role 3 Hospital, Camp Bastion, Afghanistan. A multifaceted intervention programme incorporating physician and nurse education and pre-printed medication charts was introduced to improve VTE assessment and prophylaxis rates.

Results Only 111/301 (36.9%) of patients in the pre-intervention cohort had a VTE risk assessment performed; this improved to 142/155 (91.6%, p<0.0001) post-intervention. A total of 57/88 (64.8%) patients prescribed LMWH pre-intervention had a documented assessment of bleeding risk performed; this rose to 65/66 (98.5%, p=0.0003) post-intervention. In pre-intervention, only 63/213 (29.6%) patients had a documented reassessment of VTE and bleeding risk at 24 h; reassessment rates rose to 68.8% (66/96 patients, p<0.0001) post-intervention. Of those patients at risk of VTE without ongoing bleeding risk, 62/96 (64.6%) had LMWH prescribed pre-intervention; this rose to 57/62 (91.9%) post-intervention (p<0.0001). Inappropriate LMWH prescription rates fell from 26/190 (13.7%) to 4/85 (4.7%, p=0.035) post-intervention. In those patients in whom GECS were not contraindicated, prescription rates rose from 23/95 (24.2%) to 42/62 (67.7%, p<0.0001) post-intervention.

Conclusions Inclusion of pre-printed LMWH/GECS prescriptions and risk assessment stickers in the mediction chart significantly improved rates of VTE risk assessment and prophylaxis. These easily reproducible and low-cost interventions could improve patient safety on deployment.

  • Trauma Management

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.