Notes from the Editor- in- Chief: Venous Thrombo-Embolism (VTE): Time to Act (Preface )

Abdallah A. Abbadi

Abstract


It has long been recognized in the industrial countries that VTE is a major health issue which needs to be dealt with in order to save lives and reduce complications. Several guidelines and policies have been adopted by most of the large health care institutions concerning the prophylaxis of VTE in these countries.

The issue is alarming, since VTE kills more people than cancer, car accidents and HIV put together. Given the fact that so much money has been spent on these conditions, little has been done to increase awareness of VTE. The time has come to put VTE as a number one health care priority in a hospital setting. This problem is likely to reach epidemic proportions with the aging population if no strong action is taken.

Doctors and patients have to be aware of the risk factors of VTE. There are several models of risk factor calculations which can be applied to each individual patient, and accordingly; the patient is advised concerning prophylaxis.

I recently conducted a survey of VTE risk factors at Jordan University Hospital (JUH) in which 630 patients who were admitted to hospital were stratified for risk factors according to the model of Caprini. It was found that more than two thirds of patients were either at a high risk or at a very high risk of developing VTE. What was more surprising is that only 29% of these patients actually received low molecular weight heparin prophylaxis.

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