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Researchers looking at the circumstances surrounding development of venous thromboembolism (VTE) in 1,897 patients found that about 75% developed VTE in an outpatient setting, not during hospitalization. Their findings included the following:


* About 23% of patients had undergone surgery and 37% had been hospitalized in the preceding 3 months.


* Among these patients, 67% developed VTE within 1 month of hospital discharge.


* Among 516 patients with a recent hospitalization who subsequently developed VTE, only 43% had received anticoagulant prophylaxis.



Besides recent hospitalization, other risk factors for VTE included cancer and a history of VTE. Given ever-shorter hospital stays, researchers urge clinicians to consider extending VTE prophylaxis following discharge.




Spencer FA, et al., Venous thromboembolism in the outpatient setting, Archives of Internal Medicine, July 23, 2007.