Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences (SUMS), Shiraz, Iran
Background: Venous thromboembolism (VTE) exerts a considerable burden on the health care systems. Although many practice guidelines have been developed regarding prophylaxis and treatment of venous thromboembolism, there is a large gap between the recommendations and the medical practice in health care centers. In this study, we tried to assess adherence of the medical team to guidelines for venous thromboprophylaxis in medical and surgical wards of teaching hospitals affiliated to Shiraz University of Medical Sciences. Materials and Methods: In this cross-sectional descriptive study, a total number of 500 patients were recruited among hospitalized patients in neurosurgery, orthopedics, general surgery, internal medicine, and obstetrics & gynecology departments and surgical and medical intensive care units. Afterwards, adherence to thromboprophylaxis guidelines was assessed by comparing the medical records of patients with proper indications extracted from the American College of Chest Physicians Guidelines for VTE prophylaxis (ACCP, 9th edition). In other words, for each patient a comparison between proper indications of receiving thromboprophylaxis and the regimen used in practice was made. Results: Out of 472 patients assessed with respect to the appropriateness of the administered prophylaxis, 212 (45.1%) had received proper type of thromboprophylaxis with regard to ACCP guidelines. Orthopedic surgical wards showed the highest rate of appropriateness while neurosurgical wards showed the lowest rate of adherence (76% vs. 1.8%). The overall rate of inappropriateness was 54.9% (260 patients). Inappropriateness was divided into 3 categories: 1) patients had absolute indications to receive thromboprophylaxis but were not provided with any type of prophylaxis in practice (171 patients, 36.2% of total), 2) in presence of absolute indications, incorrect type of prophylaxis was administered (52 patients, 11% of total), 3) in absence of indications for thromboprophylaxis, patients received some forms of prophylaxis (35 patients, 7.4% of total). Conclusion: The findings of the present study showed that prophylaxis are not properly utilized and physicians’ practices vary considerably among different specialties.