Among surgical patients treated in and discharged from VA hospitals, 49.4% of possible venous thromboembolism s and 47.8% of probable VTEs were diagnosed within 30 days after surgery, and 63.1% of possible VTEs and 62.9% of probable VTEs were diagnosed within 90 days after surgery, according to Dr. Richard E. Nelson of the University of Utah, Salt Lake City.

In a retrospective cohort study, researchers examined medical records from 468,515 operations on 383,551 patients who underwent surgery without prior VTE between Jan. 1, 2005 and Dec. 31, 2010. In total, VTE occurred in 1.3% of surgical admissions for VA patients in the 90 days after surgery. However, the researchers argued that presumed VTE diagnoses should not be monitored based on inpatient records alone.

“Reliable monitoring of postoperative VTE events should incorporate two aspects. First, it should use data sources that allow for extraction of information from unstructured medical records. Second, it should use data sources that have the ability to follow patients after discharge from the hospital,” they said. Read the full article in Thrombosis Research.

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